Flip Flop Shops inked a master franchise agreement with the team behind Happy Toes Caribbean. The agreement calls for the establishment and development of at least 20 new shops throughout the islands, the first of which will open in Aruba in late 2014. The master franchise rights agreement also covers the management of three already well-established shops in St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Curacao.
“The key to successful international expansion is finding the right partner,” states Brian Curin, the President and Co-Founder of Flip Flop Shops (size 10). “The credibility of our international partners coupled with the credibility of the Flip Flop Shops concept is allowing explosive growth for us around the globe.”
This new deal pushes Flip Flop Shops 2014 international expansion plans to nearly 100 new shops, and follows on the heels of similar development deals in both the Middle East and South Africa. The franchise-based company is the leading authentic retailer devoted exclusively to the latest styles of flip flops and casual footwear from the world's hottest brands, including Quiksilver, ROXY, SANUK, OluKai and more. Its mission is to help people “Free Their Toes®” and embrace the relaxing benefits of flip flops and casual footwear for healthier, low stress living.
The new Flip Flop Shops master franchisee, Happy Toes Caribbean, is owned and operated by George Samander and John Samander, a team with a long-standing history of retail success throughout the Caribbean. Extremely familiar with the casual footwear industry, the pair distributes Wolverine Worldwide brands (including Cushe®, Chaco®, Merrell®, Hush Puppies® and Sebago®) throughout the Caribbean and in some Latin American markets. They also own and operate 10 retail stores on the island of Curacao, including a Converse® concept store and The Athlete's Foot.
“We see this as a major opportunity to partner with a key player in the footwear and retail industry,” said John Samander, Managing Director of Happy Toes Caribbean BV. “The Caribbean market is an excellent growth market for casual footwear, and epitomizes the relaxed, active and outdoor lifestyle that Flip Flop Shops is all about.”
Flip Flop Shops operates nearly 100 locations globally, and has nearly 200 shops in the development pipeline. The company has greatly helped grow the industry segment into a year-round contender in North America and abroad. In 2013, Flip Flop Shops was named to the Inc. 500 | 5,000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. for the fourth year running, boasting 860-percent growth in the last three years alone.
“At Flip Flop Shops, we vet our partners both by their experience and by whether or not they embody the 'Free Your Toes' lifestyle,” continues Flip Flop Shops Co-Founder and CEO Darin Kraetsch (size 10). “We couldn't be more excited to welcome George Samander and John Samander to the Flip Flop Shops team.”
The growing company continues to seek the right partners for further shop development in several new international markets, including Latin America, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, and parts of Asia including Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.
Founded in 2004, Flip Flop Shops is the authentic retail chain exclusively devoted to the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops and casual footwear. Its mission is to help people “Free Their Toes®” and embrace the relaxing benefits of flip flops and casual footwear for a healthier, low stress lifestyle. In addition to being an Environmentally Responsible Retailer, one of the company's major initiatives is the Heart to Sole: Creating a Stress-Free America campaign, designed to reduce stress levels, improve heart health and support the American Heart Association.
The company began franchising in 2008 and now operates more than 100 shops globally with 150-plus in the worldwide development pipeline. The executive team boasts more than 50 years of experience building and growing some of the world's fastest-growing franchise concepts, category leaders and some of the world's most well-known brands, including Cold Stone Creamery, Moe's Southwest Grill, Nike and OfficeZilla.com.
Flip Flop Shops has been awarded the International Council of Shopping Centers' prestigious “Hot Retailer Award,” and ranked eighth among franchise in the 2013 Inc. 500 | 5000 list of America's fastest-growing private companies.