Earnings Claims of Top Franchises Revealed

Earnings Claims of Top Franchises Revealed

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Franchise Costs: Detailed Estimates of Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Costs (2017 FDD)

by Franchise Chatter on October 11, 2015

in Bird-Related Franchise, Franchise Costs, Retail Franchise



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This post was updated on May 3, 2017 to reflect information from Wild Birds Unlimited’s 2017 FDD (Item 7).

Detailed Estimates of Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Costs Based on Item 7 (Estimated Initial Investment) of Wild Birds Unlimited’s 2017 Franchise Disclosure Document

1.  Initial Franchise Fee:  $30,000 (new franchisees) or $15,000 (existing franchisees)



  • If you sign a Reservation Agreement, you pay $6,000 when you sign the Reservation Agreement, which the franchisor will credit toward the Initial Franchise Fee, and you will pay the remaining $24,000 when you sign the Franchise Agreement.

2.  Training:  $5,000; $0 if you are an existing franchisee opening an additional franchise

3.  Travel, Meals, Lodging:  $1,000 to $5,253

  • Includes travel, for one or two of you, to Wild Birds Unlimited headquarters before you purchase a franchise, and travel and expenses related to the initial five days of training at the company’s headquarters and five days of in-store training at a store near the headquarters or near your home, as the franchisor may determine in its sole business judgment.

4.  Lease Deposit:  $3,000 to $7,000

  • The franchisor encourages you to look for strip center sites or existing structures which could easily be converted into a Wild Birds Unlimited store.
  • Lease agreements often require a security deposit equal to one month’s rent.

5.  First Month’s Rent:  $3,000 to $7,000

6.  Leasehold Improvements:  $8,310 to $42,386

  • The low estimate is for a location that needs little work, and the high estimate for one that needs extensive remodeling.
  • The estimates account for the recommendation that you do a substantial portion of the labor, including painting, putting up slat-wall, and positioning fixtures. Slat-wall is included in this category.

7.  Insurance (first quarter):  $125 to $865



  • You must maintain a comprehensive liability insurance policy, including products and contractual liability ($1,000,000), bodily injury liability, and property damage liability ($1,000,000).

8.  Legal/Accounting:  $300 to $7,380

  • This includes the estimated legal and accounting costs associated with setting up your business entity, reviewing the disclosure document, accounting costs, and the costs associated with securing financing.

9.  Office Equipment:  $12,720 to $12,750

  • Includes office furniture, scale, front and backroom computers and printers, software and the first year’s Annual Point of Sale Fee, and other equipment you use in the management of your business.

10.  Signs:  $2,492 to $8,380

  • The low estimate is based on the use of an existing sign with few modifications. The high estimate is for a new sign, plus installation.

11.  Advertising:  $7,102 to $8,295

  • Advertising costs include pre-opening, opening, grand opening, and the first three months of operation. Advertising costs also include the cost associated with printing in-store handouts.
  • You will be required to pay the franchisor $5,000 upon signing the Lease for your Store, which will be refunded to you upon submission of paid invoices for purchases of advertising materials and media placement relating to the opening and grand opening of your Store.

12.  Retail Fixtures:  $13,417 to $17,462

  • Retail fixtures include custom display fixtures that you purchase directly from approve suppliers.
  • Fixtures include a binocular case, bird food displays, wooden sales counter and other miscellaneous displays. Other standard fixtures include slat-wall, decorative trim, floor mats, TV/laptop computer, and in-store signs.
  • Vendor costs may vary.

13.  Opening Inventory:  $23,293 to $26,709



  • The inventory items generally include bird seed, bird feeders, and gift/garden items. The estimates include merchandise and freight. The cost will vary according to the season, the length of time between birdseed deliveries, and the size of the showroom.

14.  Gift Card Fee:  $108

  • The estimate covers your purchase of 50 gift cards and presenters, as well as display signage.

15.  Annual Conference Fee:  $500

  • You must pay this fee upon signing your Franchise Agreement and attend the Annual Conference during your first year as a franchisee and the first year of each and every renewal term.

16.  Miscellaneous Expenses:  $6,325 to $9,318

  • You must pay for licenses from local authorities under local or state statutes, utility deposits, miscellaneous supplies, and wages for your employees for services performed before you open.
  • This expense category reflects expenses for giveaways, labels, internet set-up, uniforms, tools, shopping and seed bags, employee files, office supplies, 6 mystery shop visits, and the Daily Savings Club Customer Loyalty Program.

17.  Additional Funds for First 3 Months:  $30,000 to $40,000

  • These figures are estimates and the franchisor cannot guarantee that you will not incur additional expenses in starting your Store.
  • For certain estimated expenses (rent deposit, first month’s rent, leasehold improvements, signs, retail fixtures, opening inventory, miscellaneous expenses, and working capital), the low end of the range reflects a typical 1,300 sq. ft. store and the high end of the range reflects a typical 1,700 sq. ft. store. If the size of your Store will differ from these models, you should adjust your estimate accordingly.
  • Additionally, you may choose to purchase items such as a backroom microwave, copier, refrigerator, or other items of convenience that are not necessary to operate your Store. These items are not included in the start-up expenses. Vendor costs may vary.

18.  Total Opening Expenses:  $146,692 to $228,406 for a new franchisee ($126,692 to $208,406 for an existing franchisee)

  • Wild Birds Unlimited relies on its more than 30 years of experience and its franchisees’ experience, as well as industry trade data, to compile these estimates.

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