The children’s resale chain plans to open a fifth Ottawa location in the Barrhaven Town Centre this summer, and has franchised four locations in the past few months, the company announced this week.
Expansion plans also include an entrance into Quebec and southern Ontario, with the goal of 20 new franchise units to open within the next 12 months.
“We are in an aggressive expansion mode,” said co-owner Krista Thompson in an interview. “We’re very happy to see how quickly the Ottawa market has responded to the Boomerang Kids franchise.”
The stores in Kanata, Orleans and on Bank Street are now franchised, and the new Barrhaven location will be a franchise as well.
All four franchisees were customers of the store that had been consignors for at least five years.
“It just points to the strength of the brand,” Ms. Thompson said. “It’s a great testimonial for us. As soon as they heard about the opportunity to franchise, they approached us right away.”
The Westboro corporate store is still available for franchising, and the company believes the Gatineau market could support two locations. Ms. Thompson said they have actual leaseholds in mind, but no property has been acquired. The company is looking for two francophones who will help them enter the Quebec market, she said. Sales may close soon at all three locations, she added, as parties have expressed interest.
“We’re revolutionizing resale to create a profitable and eco-sustainable business for franchisees so they make a difference in their communities and the planet,” stated CEO Heather Meek in a company release.
In November, the local company received $50,000 in funding from the Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program implemented by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program.
That money was used to hire developer Demac Media and franchise software company LavaBlast to create an e-commerce solution for the company that allows it to track merchandise from each of its stores and complete online transactions. A test launch of the technology will take place this spring.
Boomerang Kids was founded 19 years ago. Ms. Meek and Krista Thompson bought the then two-store business in 2007 from the original owners.
In an interview in November, Ms. Thompson said the company’s goal is to have 30 units within the next three to five years, beginning in southern Ontario and then heading west. Potential franchisees have also expressed interest in Halifax.