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Booking into success

WHETHER it’s the financial rewards or the romance of books, or even a blend of both, a new franchise opportunity in book retail has provoked a big response in WA.

Eastern coast business Book City is opening an outlet in the Perth metropolitan area by August and at least six new stores in WA over the next year.

Book City national franchise manager John Preston received 40 franchise applications from interested parties in WA, despite the uncertain economic environment.

The franchise is advertised on the Franchisenet website with capital requirements of between $200,000 and $550,000 and an advertising levy of 2 per cent and royalties of 4 per cent.

“This will be the first of a number of stores in WA,” he said.

“It’s exciting for us as we deliberately put WA off when we started because we had a real

rush in Queensland, and we’re mainly regionally based.”.

Book City is considering a number of sites in the Perth metropolitan area, specifically locations within retail strips, rather than the big shopping centres.

Mr Preston said Book City provided franchisees with guidelines for business plans, but the finer details of how each franchise was run was determined by the individual franchisees.

Book City franchisees are usually operated by people who’ve never run their own business, or middle aged people who are tired of working for someone else.

“Most of the operators are husband and wife teams. Most of the husbands are the backroom boys and the wife is front of house.”

Book retail franchises form a strong arm of the franchising sector, with names like Angus and Robertson Bookworld and Dymocks Booksellers delivering a franchisee a strong brand presence in the market.

Dymocks Franchise Systems WA state representative Ann Poublon said Dymocks recently opened franchises in Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

“Increasingly I am getting calls from people who want stores. Most of the time we provide the location but we don’t do it ourselves, we go to specialists to assess whether a site is appropriate,” Ms Poublon said.

The cost of the Dymocks franchise is individually calculated based on the size of the store.

Ms Poublon said people liked to be associated with a brand name when they took on a bookstore franchise.

“Like anything with a whole group it creates good brand awareness and a network of information,” she said.

In general, the people who buy into a Dymocks franchise are attracted by the retail strength of the Dymocks brand, combined with a genuine interest in books.

“These people have often been involved in another business previously and want the experience of the Dymocks buying power.”

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