One of the great things about EarthWise Pet Supply is that you can open a franchise nearly anywhere — big cities, suburbs, small towns. We do require a certain population density within a certain range, but our stores are very versatile, making them perfect for a wide variety of locations.
Territories are available nationwide, and with expert store layout designers who make efficient use of space; our ideal pet supply store is between 1,600 and 2,200 feet with our larger, full-service stores exceeding 4,000 feet. We’ve seen a lot of interest from potential owners in big cities in the Southern, Northeastern and Western U.S., as well as in Midwestern cities like Chicago. But that doesn’t mean all locations have to be in such dense areas.
EarthWise is currently experiencing a swath of growth from Texas, Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas up the Mid-Atlantic seaboard and into the Northeast. We also have a strong presence along the West Coast and in California, where the brand first started 40 years ago.
As far as a specific growth target, we don’t really have one.
“We’re ready to continue opening stores whenever we find areas that need them and franchisees who want to operate them,” Webb says.
“If there comes a time when we can’t find any more locations, we’ll re-evaluate. We’re not going to keep trying to create locations just for the sake of creating them. It needs to be profitable for the franchisee. It needs to make sense, and we’re going to continue growing that way versus trying to meet some goal.”
Jon Pritchow, Director of New Store Development & Acquisitions, says the ideal locations for an EarthWise Pet Supply franchise depend on a number of factors.
“We rely on heat maps with industry-related information that can help us determine the pet food spend in the surrounding area where we are looking at building a store,” Pritchow says. “We also typically like to have a nice tenant mix with a strong tenant anchor, usually a higher-end grocery store such as a Trader Joe’s, etc.”
Being close to high-traffic businesses such as Starbucks and Walgreens can be a plus. EarthWise also studies traffic flow, commuter patterns and a shopping center’s ingress/egress points.