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What is Clarks and what services does it provide?
The manufacturer of the iconic desert boot opened for business in Somerset in 1825, when brothers Cyrus and James Clark started selling sheepskin slippers to local customers.
The British based business is now a multi-channel international shoe manufacturer and retailer of some renown. Today Clarks sells in the region of 45 million pairs of women, men and children’s shoes and sandals every year. It also has a range of backpacks, cross body bags, leather bags and purses.
As well as a nationwide operation in the UK, the brand has a presence in the Americas, Asia and Europe that comprises 1,400 stores in 75 countries. It also has an ecommerce website, from which customers can purchase product.
500 of its outlets (including concessions) are in the UK. Clarks has approximately 450 franchises around the world - 100 in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The Clarks family owns 85 per cent of the company.
Clarks has worked with children’s charity UNICEF since 2008, raising over £1.5 million for its child education programme through its shoe share initiative, which has meant over 1,700 tons of shoes have been diverted from landfill.
Renewable electricity is used in 80 per cent of its stores, while 90 per cent of the leather used to make Clarks’ shoes is sourced from gold, silver and bronze rated tanneries.
The company is a founder member of the Leather Working Group. This not for profit organisation strives to promote sustainable business practices in the leather industry and ensures tanners are assessed against a number of standards, irrespective of where they are based in the world.
Clarks opened its first UK franchise in 1985. It has been a full member of the British Franchise Association since 1997. The bfa has been the voice of ethical franchising in the UK since 1977. The organisation has hundreds of members, which operate in numerous sectors of the economy, and has a three tier system of membership, depending on how well a company’s franchise network is established.
How does the Clarks franchise model work?
Franchisees are provided with everything required to start and establish a Clarks retail store in their chosen territory. There is the possibility of owning more than one outlet, once a franchisee’s first store has been established and is performing in line with the franchisor’s requirements.
A franchisee’s investment buys them the right to trade using the Clarks brand name, systems, knowledge and know-how. They also benefit from frequent national and local advertising and PR activity, regular new shoe and accessory ranges and the economies of scale and streamlined supply chain associated with a brand such as Clarks.
Most franchises offered by Clarks in the UK are resale opportunities of already established stores or when company-owned outlets are transferred to franchisee ownership.
How much does it cost to become a Clarks franchisee?
Approximately £150,000, of which franchisees are expected to have around one-third of the total investment in liquid funds.
The total cost of setting up a Clarks franchise depends on the size and location of the store. A detailed break down of the investment required is provided to all franchisees during the recruitment process.
What is the role of a Clarks franchisee?
This is a full-time management franchise that is predominantly store-based and customer-facing.
Franchisees are responsible for all administrative and accounting aspects of their business. Multi unit franchisees typically appoint experienced managers to run their stores.
What training and support do Clarks franchisees receive?
A franchisee’s induction training lasts for five days and takes place at Clarks’ UK headquarters in Somerset. This is followed by up to 20 days of in field training. Training tailored to a franchisee’s requirements is provided by the franchisor on an ongoing basis.
A franchisee’s staff are trained in all parts of the business and receive refresher training on a monthly basis.
Clarks assists all its franchisees with the selection of a suitable retail site for their business. It also gives franchisees access to a professional design and fit out service for their stores. Marketing and operational support is also provided.
What experience and skills does a Clarks franchisee require?
Ideally, prospective franchisees should have some retail and management experience.
All candidates must be hard-working, resilient, ambitious, well organised and have the ability to provide a first-class customer experience and follow Clark’s tried and tested franchise model.
What locations or territories is Clarks looking to operate in?
The company has franchise opportunities throughout the UK.
Where in the UK is the Clarks franchise based?
Clarks’ headquarters are in Street, Somerset.
How can I get started on setting up my own Clarks business?
Complete the enquiry form on this page and a member of the Clarks franchise recruitment team will be in touch. They will be able to provide you with more information about the franchise opportunity and answer any initial questions you may have about the business.
The franchise recruitment process also involves a series of face to face meetings with the franchisor and key members of the management and support teams. In addition, would be franchisees are required to produce a detailed business plan.
Candidates must do their own research into the opportunity on offer before making any sort of commitment to a franchisor. It is advisable that they use the services of a suitably qualified lawyer and accountant who are familiar with the concept of franchising. They will be able to provide independent advice on the franchise.
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Send a free enquiry to Clarks for further information!