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Hey guys!!! I'm currently interested in franchising a Halloween Express store!! Does anybody here franchise one? I'm looking for some advice on things, how do I start, what to avoid, etc. Since i will be completely new to everything advice will be greatly appreciated :D !!!
 

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https://www.halloweenexpress.com/franchise_info.php

I'm assuming you've got that info already?

I haven't looked at them specifically, but make a smart business plan, don't go into it thinking it's a get rich quick scenario. Really read the franchise agreement before jumping in. Sometimes it takes a year or two to build a customer base, and not every area is going to be successful.
 

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Not speaking from 1st hand experience only observation.
If you have a location all ready available to you great....IF you need to lease a store front, beware of town approvals. I watched a closed store front, have to wait 4-6 weeks to get town approvals to reopen that store front. Parking and location. Your money is from costumes and the floor traffic needed to sell those costumes.
There have been several members who have worked at a seasonal Halloween store, which could give you inside view from those eyes.
I would search for someone who failed, to truly understanding the pitfalls
There is another website that some members there have a more professional view of Halloween (Haunt owners), which may have some cross over experience.
Jerseyscare
 

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Yikes 4-6 weeks? Thanks for the info!!! def going to keep researching before jumping on the boat. I've always been interested in opening up my own store, but the fear or failing scares me ... Guess I'll never know unless I try def something to really research on !!!!
 

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Yikes 4-6 weeks? Thanks for the info!!! def going to keep researching before jumping on the boat. I've always been interested in opening up my own store, but the fear or failing scares me ... Guess I'll never know unless I try def something to really research on !!!!
I have always wanted to own my own business selling Christmas/Halloween/Easter stuff. The fear of failing is strong but I took the plunge and started small online.
As you're looking for a franchise. I agree, read the terms. Email the company with questions.
Good luck to you. Follow your dreams.


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If you want to talk to most of the Companies that do this attend the Halloween and party expo in New Orleans in Jan. Most of these companies attend and can tell you the info you need. The main concern will be the geographic zones of control for existing franchisees. There is usually a zone of non compete in most instances. We looked into this to find all areas near by taken already for the 2 bigger companies.
 

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......Since i will be completely new to everything advice will be greatly appreciated :D !!!
You asked for advice and sometimes that advice is not what you want to hear but from your own words, you are no where remotely close to having the experience you will need to run a successful seasonal business. At the very lease you should spend a Halloween season (or two) working at one of the franchises to learn more about the business. You didn't speak to your business experience in running a business or managing people. Prepare for the fun of hiring and firing staff. If you are an experienced small business owner than you know all the crazy regulations you will need to adhere to. Ever been sued? Ever had an employee threaten you or other employees? Ever dealt with an unrealistic customer? Do you know how much insurance costs not just for inventory coverage but liability for the business?
Going into business is not for the faint of heart and nothing about it is easy. Long hours, hard work, and total commitment to the endeavor still does not mean success though it goes a long way to help one get there. If you do decide to go forward with a franchise I wish you the best. Hang on for the ride...... :)
 

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I am not a small business owner but I've worked for many different types of small businesses & Reload has a point, it's not easy when you're the boss or owner. As an employee you can call in sick, take the week off or just not show up, but when you're the boss or owner you GOTTA be there or else the store doesn't open & that just isn't an option, especially in a seasonal store where you're open for a finite time. There's a lot about the behind the scenes stuff in general that you just don't learn as an employee, insurance (business & otherwise), inventory, the POS systems that are used, security, payroll laws, the banking aspect of it, dealing with landlords, who's responsible for what in general, etc. etc.

Also, franchise fees are kinda crazy in general, not just for a Halloween Express, & then you're under their thumb for a lot of things.

And if you've never worked retail of any kind you may wanna try that for a season first because there is nothing else quite like the retail experience. I firmly believe that all of those customers that are crappy to retail employees should be made to work 3 months of retail during a busy season & then maybe they'd be less crappy to retail employees.

I just googled "Halloween Express franchise cost" to see what the numbers are & here it is:
https://www.franchisegator.com/franchises/halloween-express-inc/

Opportunity Cost

Liquid Capital Required:
$80,000 - $90,000

Net Worth Required:
$300,000

Total Investment:
$150,000 - $200,000
And that's just a basic number, there's a $10,000 fee & then they get 5% of the gross, not net, GROSS .


Franchise Fee
There is a $10,000 one time Franchise Fee. This fee secures your rights to use the Halloween Express name and logo, templates for marketing and advertising material, point-of-sale system, real estate expertise and access to the Halloween Express product mix. A Continuation Franchise Fee of five percent (5%) of gross sales is also required and can be paid monthly.


Inventory
The size of inventory required depends on the size of each store. An average inventory for a 7,000 to 10,000 square foot store is approximately $150,000 to $180,000.


Construction and Fixtures
Costs vary, depending on the location selected. To fully fixture a location, the cost is typically in the $15,000 to $17,000 range.


Capital Investment
A minimum of $100,000 in available cash is needed to open a Halloween Express store. In addition, unknown variable costs may arise and must be anticipated in order to allow for any leasehold improvements and for use as general operating capital.


Important Franchise Considerations
Franchises Available On First Come Basis
Apply as soon as possible, as franchises are awarded on a first come basis. The application process, setting up a franchise and securing locations should never be rushed.


Our Product Line
Halloween Express is proud to offer the largest selection of product in category; including costumes, masks, wigs, accessories and decorations. As a franchisee, you benefit from access to our buying knowledge and relationships with manufacturers.


Store Design
Halloween Express stores are designed to fit any type of design criteria required by developers and should be no less than 7,000 square feet. In your first year of business, Halloween Express will assist you in developing a store layout and merchandise planogram.


Site Selection
The selection of a store site is one of the most important factors to success. Sites must be able to generate enough awareness quickly to ensure that shoppers will patronage your store. While a high traffic location is a must, adequate ingress and egress, the presence of high-visibility signage and detailed analysis of the trade area are also vital. Our real estate team has years of experience in sourcing and qualifying sites and will assist during your first season with site selection and consult during the lease negotiation process. Assistance is available in subsequent years as well.


Why shouldn't I just set up my own Halloween store?
In over 25 years in business, we have seen many smaller Halloween stores come and go. Many failed because they did not have access to the right product lines, pricing that results from real buying power, as well as stocking and point of sale systems built to succeed. While it can seem like "fun" to resource product and attempt to buy on one's own, many come to find out that pricing is too high, orders are too small, deliveries don't happen and a whole host of other issues. Running a Mom and Pop Halloween operation is a real nightmare. Halloween Express provides franchisees with a proven, successful format along with the training and tools necessary to succeed.


Please Note:
Halloween Express, Inc. is currently accepting inquiries from the following states: Wyoming, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, Vermont, Virginia, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, New York, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nebraska, North Dakota, North Carolina, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Iowa, Hawaii, Georgia, Florida, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Colorado, California, Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, Alaska.


Interested parties should have at least $80,000 in liquid capital to invest.
 

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The biggest point of failure with these stores is they hire nothing but low knowledge people to work them. They train them where the stock is and that's about it. Someone comes in and no one is selling to them. That family walking in the door could be gazers or they could be someone who could easily be talked into spending $3,000 in props, but no one knows how to sell or is knowledgeable as to how different items can be used.

If I were opening one of these places, the first person I would hire would be a haunter to be there on the weekends and evenings.
 

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Somewhere long ago I read that if you are going to open a business you should have enough money set aside to live on for 2 years. That's for all your normal expenses and is separate from whatever you invest in the business.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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The biggest point of failure with these stores is they hire nothing but low knowledge people to work them. They train them where the stock is and that's about it. Someone comes in and no one is selling to them. That family walking in the door could be gazers or they could be someone who could easily be talked into spending $3,000 in props, but no one knows how to sell or is knowledgeable as to how different items can be used.

If I were opening one of these places, the first person I would hire would be a haunter to be there on the weekends and evenings.
This is a very good point. Sadly a lot of retail is like that.

My husband used to work in a pet store when I first met him. He LOVED it but it paid crap because the owners thought they could just hire any kid off the street but any kid off the street doesn't want to feed the tarantulas, caimans, snakes live critters & pull out decapitated hamsters of cages (males will eat the babies that aren't theirs, yeah, whodathunk). But anyone that knows about such things isn't going to work there long because the pay is garbage. It's a vicious cycle but it happens a lot & way too often in retail.

My biggest issue with working at a seasonal Halloween store is that their peak season is MY/OUR peak season & I ain't got no kinda time for that extra job thing!!:D

But I do know we have members here that have worked for Spirit &/or Halloween Express, I hope they chime in here with some inside advice.
 
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