Monthly Archives: November 2016

Co-branding with HobbyTown Gave A Store the Expert Support They Needed

In 2002, Arnie Clawson purchased a local hobby store in Ontario, Ohio that had been open since 1985. However, Arnie was new to the industry and wasn’t originally a hobby enthusiast. He purchased the store because he had friends in the industry and, over time, developed a love for RC airplanes and quads.

In October 2015, Arnie co-branded with HobbyTown knowing that this co-branding opportunity could bring improved margins, expanded purchasing power with more distributors, and operational tools. Arnie believed that if he had built a good store and HobbyTown was a good franchise, together they would be excellent.

From the moment he began co-branding, this proved to be true. HobbyTown’s Franchise Team came to the store for a week to help with the transition and provided what was described as “exemplary support.” The support didn’t stop there – a HobbyTown Franchise representative came back 90 days later to make sure everything was still going well. There were also system advantages—accounting, inventory management, and an advanced point-of-sale system – and the ability to learn from other HobbyTown stores.

Learn more about how you can own your own HobbyTown, click the LEARN MORE button today!

Retail Veteran Leaves Corporate World to Become HobbyTown Franchise Owner and Never Looks Back

If ever there was a person built to be a HobbyTown Franchise Owner, that person is Gary Phillips. A lifetime lover of trains, his parents allege that his first words were, “choo choo.” He describes days when product shipments came to the store as feeling like Christmas morning, and says he has genuinely loved every single day of work since becoming a HobbyTown Franchise Owner.

Phillips is a veteran of the retail industry. He majored in retail in college and spent 24+ years working as a Manager and Buyer for a major department store. By the end of his corporate tenure, he was burned out and looking to make a career move. It was never a question of whether or not he would stay in retail, just which brand he would go with. He looked into different franchise opportunities but ultimately decided in 1999 to become a HobbyTown Franchise Owner because it fulfilled his love of retail and allowed him to spend his time “selling fun.” Regardless of the HobbyTown advantages, he never expected the relationships he would make along the way, from leaning on his Corporate Team to meeting some of his now best friends through HobbyTown events and conferences.

Seventeen years after opening, his passion for HobbyTown and the industry are as apparent as ever. He manages the day-to-day with his business partner and no two days are alike. On any given day, you may find them on the sales floor, in the office, or managing vendor relationships. With all the hustle and bustle of managing the daily operations, Gary talks about how he wishes he was younger so he could have more days in the store. He reflects on his HobbyTown ventures by saying, “Even a bad day here at the store is way better than any good day at my previous career.” Gary is nowhere near ready to give up the store, so that’s why he’s lined up his stepson to be heir of his “hobby kingdom.” The enthusiasm he has for HobbyTown comes naturally to him, “If you don’t have enthusiasm, you are in the wrong business.”

His love of the brand has created a loyal customer base for his store locations in Knoxville and Mount Juliet, TN and he likes to think of his store as a place like Cheers!, where everyone knows your name. His overall goal for the business? To create a comfortable place where you are among friends who share your passions. And, hopefully sell some things along the way.

Click the LEARN MORE button today to own a HobbyTown Franchise!

Sales Professional Leaves Behind the Corporate Grind to Become HobbyTown Franchise Owner

Steve Noel had had enough. After being laid off twice when the economy slowed, he was ready for his next opportunity and found it in franchising with HobbyTown. Said Steve, “I figured if I was going to lose my job, it’s going to be because I did something wrong.”

Having strong support from the HobbyTown team was important to him, too. “Three people from the Corporate Team came to help get my store open. Everything is thought out. The merchandise is pre-priced and pre-labeled, there’s a blueprint of how to lay out the store… the operations people were awesome,” said Steve.

Eleven years later, his Orland Park, Illinois location is going strong. He works in the store almost every day, but says it’s because he wants to, not that he has to. His wife Kim works with him, placing orders, doing inventory, and the bookkeeping.  His sales team is as passionate about customer relations as Steve is, and they help him keep his store exciting and new.

“To attract people to your store you need to change things up, make it interesting. Give them new products to get excited about. HobbyTown’s proprietary products really help cement our growth and we put a lot of focus on them in our store. Now people come in specifically looking for the HobbyTown branded products,” said Steve.

Click the LEARN MORE button to be like Steve and own a HobbyTown Franchise!