Review of the Charming Charlies Franchise Opp and Startup Costs

Founded in 2004, Charming Charlie is a unique franchise opportunity that is based out of Houston, TX. When you walk through your average shopping mall, the amount of vacant stores is beginning to grow, isn’t it? This accessories and clothing boutique bucks that trend by offering franchisees an affordable way to bring consumer traffic into their stores to create sales with virtually every prospect. Focusing on whimsical products and affordable prices, Charming Charlie has found the winning combination for profitability in the retail industry today.

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Why Invest Into the Charming Charlie Brand Name?

The average Charming Charlie has over 8,000 square feet of space. In that amount of space, each store averages over 40,000 unique items for sale. For a scale comparison, that’s the same amount of products that you’d find at your average grocery store! This combination of a small space and high product variety takes the boutique idea to a large scale, making this brand a truly unique investment opportunity.

Why? Because there is no national competitor to the Charming Charlie format. A franchisee might have competition from local small-scale boutiques and other businesses may have a fraction of the inventory that can provide some level of local competition within a community, but no other store has taken the boutique concept to the scale as this brand has done. Because of this, a franchisee gets three specific advantages:

• Niche Expertise
• Inventory Variety
• Uniqueness

This all combines to give a franchisee an opportunity for immediate profitability, even if margins are lower on some products than the industry average. Nearly 50% of the retail industry is from purchases made by women on apparel and accessories! With Charming Charlie, a franchisee gets the chance to take their own piece out of this extremely profitable pie.

What Is the Cost to Purchase a Charming Charlie Franchise?

Here’s the problem: right now, Charming Charlie is not creating any franchise opportunities. Every Charming Charlie store is their own. That doesn’t mean you can’t get involved with the organization or potentially invest into the brand to create your own store, but realize that at this very moment, the ownership would be at the organizational level, not with the investor wanting a Charming Charlie location near them.

If you are looking for a free way to get involved with the Charming Charlie franchise, the organization offers website owners the chance to join an affiliate program for free. By placing a website banner on a blog or website, any clicks that result in purchases are awarded 6% of the total order that a customer creates. Although this is far from the profits that can be earned from a franchising opportunity, it is something that can at least get you familiar with the brand until franchise opportunities begin to open up.

What Has Made Charming Charlie Grow So Fast?

There are a number of reasons why Charming Charlie is a good investment opportunity and should be on your watch list for a potential franchise:

Unique Merchandise
The small-scale, small town boutique has a charm that is all its own and creates the desire to purchase something from the moment a customer walks through the doors. Charming Charlie has taken this concept and made it a large scale business, simulating the feel of the small town shop, but through a national distribution network. Their inventory is humorous, yet sophisticated, and highly affordable to the average person.

A Large Social Presence
Charming Charlie dominates their niche when it comes to social networking. Many of their products are similar to what you’d find on handcrafting websites such as Etsy, but without the artisan price that turns many people away from an actual purchase. This gives women especially the chance to accessorize in a way that will allow them to truly express their personality to the world at large.

An Inviting Vendor Program
What sets Charming Charlie apart from other national chains is their vendor program. Vendors are given a contact and also have access to purchase orders and other information they need through the main website for the brand. This gives anyone the chance to have their unique products reviewed by Charming Charlie for inclusion into their stores and allows for easy order management, thus furthering the brand itself.

Fun Sponsorship and Sweepstakes
Charming Charlie has created several partnerships that allow for great interactive opportunities for customers to get together to enjoy shopping while also creating better brand awareness. Their most recent example is called the “Mom’s Night Out” and provides the winner of the sweepstakes with a $500 gift card, 3 days and 2 nights in Los Angeles, a limousine ride to the premier of the movie of the same name, and even a full fashion shoot.

Why Isn’t Charming Charlie Creating Franchise Opportunities Right Now?

The issue right now is how to make these franchise opportunities viable for this brand. Establishing vendors to replicate the same atmosphere for franchisees is more difficult than it is for a home business and there is too much risk to allow a franchisee to solicit for their own vendors. It could literally destroy the reputation of the brand that has become one of the fastest growing retail brands in the United States right now.

Once these challenges are worked out, there will undoubtedly be franchise opportunities in the future for those who wish to invest into the Charming Charlie brand. Until that happens, there are other ways to get involved, such as managing a new store instead of owning one, becoming an affiliate, or participating in the social networking that has causes this brand to spread like wild fire across the US. One day there will be a franchise opportunity, so be ready.

You’ll want to be in on the ground floor of this brand and identity when they are ready to franchise!