Smoothie King maintained its growth momentum from 2018 and signed a total of 32 franchise agreements—including an area development agreement for 10 committed stores in Phoenix, Tucson and El Paso—during the first quarter of 2019.
Of the 32 signed agreements, 17 came from existing Smoothie King operators while another five are set to join the system as new franchisees. Outside of Arizona and Texas, other states where Q1 agreements were signed include: Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Maryland, South Carolina and Virginia.
Signed agreements, however, weren't the only factors fueling franchise development and growth in Q1, as Smoothie King also announced a major partnership with superstar quarterback Drew Brees in January and welcomed new executives CMO Rebecca Miller and CFO Thomas Kim to the fold in March. Brees will serve as the face of the brand's Clean Blends™ recipes, while veterans Miller and Kim were brought onboard because of their success and expertise in supporting rapid company growth, among other respective qualifications.
Additionally, Smoothie King unveiled its Rule The Day™ campaign in March, which coincides with its Clean Blends™ initiative. Rule The Day™ underscores the brand's vision of being an integral part of every health and fitness journey with more whole fruits and vegetables, zero added sugar in many purpose blends and no artificial preservatives, flavors, colors or any other harmful ingredients on the "No No List."
"At Smoothie King, our passion for inspiring people to live healthy and active lifestyles is reflected in every action we take and decision we make, and it has also played a major role in our brand's growth and development," said CEO Wan Kim. "Smoothie King franchisees are as much invested in the business as they are in the brand because we share the same vision. As a result, we saw more locations open in 2018 than in any other year of our franchise's history, and early returns in 2019 show that passion and vision is continuing to resonate."
As Kim referenced, Smoothie King has experienced strong franchise growth over the last half decade. Data and achievements that reflect this recent trend include:
- Five-consecutive years of same-store sales growth
- Same-store sales growth exceeding nine percent three of the last five years
- Adding an average of 100 franchise stores per year over the last three years
- Opening 106 North American locations in 2018, the most in a single year in the franchise's 45+ year history
- Reaching the 1,000-location milestone on August 23, 2018
While Smoothie King continues to be a leader in the smoothie and wellness industry, its satisfaction remains unquenched as the brand aims for even greater growth in 2019. The franchise is looking to sign a total of 130 franchise agreements for 225 committed stores and open a total of 116 franchise stores by the end of the year. Additionally, Smoothie King is aiming for a five-to-10 percent increase in new store openings each year for the next three years and beyond.
Target markets for future/existing development include: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Little Rock (Ark.), Miami, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Antonio, Tulsa (Okla.) and Washington D.C.
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