The Bulk Barn Franchise Program is key to the success of the Bulk Barn business. Below are a few of the major elements of the program.
Initial and Ongoing Support/Assistance from the Franchisor
1. Real Estate: Site Selection & Lease Negotiation
The Real Estate team at BBFL uses market and demographic data provided by Statistics Canada and other providers, to assess demographic and household characteristics such as population density and household income, to help determine suitable markets for new stores. Once a market opportunity has been identified, research of potential opportunities both through our business network and “on the ground” is undertaken to find the best available locations for a store. Many factors are taken into consideration including vehicular and pedestrian traffic, the draw of neighbouring retail, ease of access to the location, quality and proximity of available parking, visibility and exposure, signage opportunities, site-specific conditions, financial and business considerations and any other pertinent factors to evaluate the suitability of a given location.
- BBFL is actively in touch with shopping centre developers and landlords in order to remain current with leasing opportunities in various markets. All lease negotiations are carried out by BBFL, as franchisor, to ensure that the most advantageous lease terms are obtained.
- BBFL holds title to all head leases. The premises are sublet to the franchisees by way of a Sublease Agreement.
2. Store Development
The build-out of the store is carried out by BBFL, through its Store Development team. They ensure that the standard Bulk Barn equipment package is installed in each store. They deliver to the franchisee a complete turnkey store, fully fixtured, equipped and stocked.
The Store Operations team assists with hands-on training of new franchisees as follows:
- A complete initial training program, as determined by BBFL is provided to the franchisee;
- Comprehensive training in the implementation of all policies as laid out in BBFL’s confidential Policy Manual. This Policy Manual covers the daily operation of a Bulk Barn store and the mandatory policies that must be adhered to;
- Pre-opening and opening assistance, as determined by BBFL, throughout the opening stages of operation.
District Managers are appointed to provide assistance and consultation to the franchisee regarding the operation of a Bulk Barn store to brand standards. They visit the stores regularly. They also conduct formal store reviews to ensure that system standards and procedures are being maintained consistently throughout the chain. They guide the franchisee in achieving a well staffed/scheduled store and, at the same time, an optimal store cash flow.
The merchandising team at BBFL is continually evaluating our existing products, as well as sourcing new products to add to our mix. They ensure our products are of the quality and prices expected by our customers, while still providing our franchisees with attractive profit margins. Our BBFL Corporate Office buying team, through years of experience and contact with hundreds of suppliers, provides you with a secure supply of product at all times.
The franchisee is required to participate in the Bulk Barn advertising program, and to contribute a percentage of sales to this program. The nature and scope of the advertising is controlled by BBFL. It is recognized that a program with advertising/promotion in every market area where Bulk Barn stores are located benefits the entire chain.
With few exceptions, all of our merchandise is shipped from our central warehouse directly to our franchised stores through weekly deliveries.
7. Financial Services
To assist franchisees in securing financing for the purchase or renovation of a store, BBFL maintains relationships with the major banks and has negotiated franchise programs with TD Canada Trust and Royal Bank of Canada. Typical financing transactions may include, but are not limited to, Canada Small Business Loans and Business Lines of Credit.
Franchisees are required to submit financial statements to us on an annual basis. We analyze all store financial statements, calculate financial operating ratios and compare each store’s financial results to the rest of the stores in the chain. The results of these analyses are communicated to the franchisees as they relate to their individual stores, in an effort to identify opportunities for improving profitability.
8. Customer Service
Customer Service personnel are available to assist the franchisee with customer/store incidents, customer complaints and any issues pertaining to product.
9. Brand Development
The key to a successful brand is the ability to create an emotional connection with the customer. This connection builds positive feelings and images, and encourages trust and long-term customer loyalty. Since opening in 1982, Bulk Barn stores have gained customer trust by consistently offering quality, value and selection across a wide range of bulk products. This trust has provided the Bulk Barn chain with tremendous support via word of mouth advertising by generations of loyal customers.
The Bulk Barn chain attracts millions of customers every year. We perpetuate our growth by encouraging support from our customer base, with ongoing advertising and promotion programs and contemporary, clean, full, well-run, friendly stores. All of these elements promote strong positive customer feelings and satisfaction supporting our position as Canada’s largest bulk food retailer.
10. Requirements of the Franchisee
- It is essential that a Bulk Barn franchisee be active in the day-to-day operations of the business (hands on) and maintain close supervision of his/her employees.
- All franchisees are required to maintain high standards of operation, including cleanliness, merchandising, customer service and state of repair of the premises and equipment.
- All franchisees are required to follow rules, regulations and policies as documented in the Franchise Agreement and the Policy Manual, as these have been proven to be essential to the success of this retail concept.