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Thread: chain location criteria

  1. #1
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    chain location criteria

    I've always wondered what happened to Arby's, the roast beef sandwich chain. It seems like 15 years ago or so there were a bunch of them here in MA, but gradually they began disappearing for some reason. Today there's only three left in the entire state. I had assumed the chain was going under, but last weekend I was in Buffalo and, lo and behold, Arby's is alive and well in the Buffalo/Western NY area. There's even a stand-alone franchise in downtown Buffalo where there's otherwise not much in the way of fast-food options (yes, you bet I ate there and pocketed some Arby's sauce packets on my way out the door).

    Anyone understand chain location criteria that could shed some light on this situation? What explains why chains abandon certain locations, concentrate/expand in existing ones, and ignore other markets?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    I know the Arby's in town closed. I heard that the parent company bought out all the franchisees and razed them. The ones open now are corporate owned. Burger King went through the same thing.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    We have at least Arby's here. When I went back home, the one there was going and blowing. To answer the overall question. Some chains are regional. Some stores change franchises, Some chains go under or do a study and find out that people in a particular area no longer eat at that frachise for whatever reason.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Most chains have corporate owned stores and franchise owned stores. Usually it's about a 20/80 split (except Subway which is 1/99). Stores move back and forth between corporate and franchise ownership all the time. Sometimes franchisees go out of business or retire or no longer want to own a particular location after their commitment to operate has expired. Sometimes franchises are lost due to mismanagement or contract violations and they go back to the corporation.

    Generally the corporate owned locations are the more lucrative stores, they will sell under performing locations to franchisees. A lot goes into site selection, more than most people think does. Everything from site location, access, traffic volume, population demographics, surrounding businesses, physical characteristics, market competition, etc. What may have been an excellent site years ago may not currently be one.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    Most chains have corporate owned stores and franchise owned stores. Usually it's about a 20/80 split (except Subway which is 1/99). Stores move back and forth between corporate and franchise ownership all the time. Sometimes franchisees go out of business or retire or no longer want to own a particular location after their commitment to operate has expired. Sometimes franchises are lost due to mismanagement or contract violations and they go back to the corporation.

    Generally the corporate owned locations are the more lucrative stores, they will sell under performing locations to franchisees. A lot goes into site selection, more than most people think does. Everything from site location, access, traffic volume, population demographics, surrounding businesses, physical characteristics, market competition, etc. What may have been an excellent site years ago may not currently be one.
    Well said and an explanation for why these types of land uses are built to be obsolete in ~20 years. Cheaper to pack it in and follow the rooftops if the location stinks, or replace if still viable.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    So much of this is tied to census data. I can simply point to Jacksonville NC which in 2009/early 2010 didn't have the following which are now open or under construction all due to the county population cresting 175,000 and city population over 70,000. Once the census numbers dropped it seemed like almost overnight the bulldozers rolled in.

    Kohls
    Popeyes
    Carolina Ale House
    Cheddars
    Hilton Garden Inn
    10 Screen Movie Theater (second in town)
    Jimmy Johns
    Panera
    @GigCityPlanner

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