China "wild west" for franchises

Western Investor
August 28, 2012

B.C.-based White Spot Restaurants opened its first Triple O's location in Mainland China July 28 and plans to open another 15 restaurants in the country within the next four years.

The move is part of the rapid expansion of the company's Triple O's brand in Asia through franchise agreements.

Unlike Blenz Coffee, which opened 20 locations in cities across China in the early 2000s before beating a hasty retreat, White Spot's strategy is to target a single Chinese province - Zhejiang near Shanghai - and grow from there.

"China is vast," stressed former Blenz Coffee president George Moen. "Companies franchising in China should give the partner a test market to prove themselves. That way, if the partnership goes sideways, you don't block yourself from seeking other potential lucrative partnerships in other parts of the country."

He added. "China is still the wild west when it comes to franchising. Franchising only became a legal business model a couple of years prior to us going in."

- Glen Korstrom/BIV

from Western Investor September 2012

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