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FDD Talk 2015: The Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on November 27, 2015

in Bird-Related Franchise, FDD Talk 2017: Retail Franchises, Franchise Earnings, Retail Franchise



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Wild Birds Unlimited Photo

In this FDD Talk 2015 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Wild Birds Unlimited franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of Wild Birds Unlimited’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2014, 2013, and 2012 average gross sales for those Wild Birds Unlimited franchises open and operational for at least 12 months as of December 31, 2014, December 31, 2013, and December 31, 2012, respectively
  • 2014 average gross sales for Wild Birds Unlimited franchises broken down by number of years of operation
  • actual number of stores that were open and operational for at least 12 months during the year and that achieved certain gross sales levels for 2014, 2013, and 2012
  • summary of gross sales for the first full 12 months of operation for stores that opened between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2014 who had completed 12 full months of operation as of May 31, 2014
  • average monthly sales volume percentage that contributed to the 2014 gross sales for those Wild Birds Unlimited franchises open and operational for at least 12 months as of December 31, 2014
  • average cost of goods sold for products offered by the stores open a full 12 months in each of 2013, 2012, and 2011, as well as the average of advertising and wage expenses incurred by first year stores that completed their first year of operation in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009
  • 2013, 2012, and 2011 average owner’s cash flow achieved by stores as reported by franchisees that were operating the previous full 12 months

Section I – Background Information

Wild Birds Unlimited Links Birds, Birders, and Backyards

For birders and other nature enthusiasts, Wild Birds Unlimited provides both the equipment and the expertise needed to create backyard birding bliss, enjoyable communes with nature, and increased areas of natural wildlife habitat. The company, which has more than 300 stores in the United States and Canada, added 10 franchises in 2014 and projects another 15 in 2015.

In addition to openings of new stores, Wild Birds Unlimited announced 12 transfer agreements in 2014. In 2015 the company’s target markets for expansion are the Houston/Dallas/Forth Worth, Texas, area; Albany, New York; Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Roanoke, Virginia.

Wild Birds Unlimited increased same-stores sales by 3.79 percent in 2014, the fifth year the company has enjoyed a rise in same-store sales.



Founder Combined Business Prowess With Love of Birds, Nature

Wild Birds Unlimited got its start in 1981 when Jim Carpenter, a businessman and nature lover, opened his first store in Indianapolis, Indiana. Demand quickly grew, leading to franchising in two years.

Carpenter, who originally received a bachelor’s degree in biology and planned to become a doctor, instead went on to earn a master’s degree in horticulture at Purdue University. After managing a garden center in Indianapolis, the then-28-year-old Carpenter chose to open a backyard birding store, a 700-square-foot space, in January 1981.

The company, based in Carmel, Indiana, features sales of bird-feeding products and other nature merchandise and gifts, sharing of expert advice, and presentation of educational events.

According to Wild Birds International, 52.8 million people feed birds and enjoy the presence of wildlife in their backyards, and $6.9 billion is spent each year on feeding birds and watching wildlife.

Company No. 9 in Franchise Top 200 List

Wild Birds Unlimited was ranked No. 9 in Franchise Business Review’s 2015 Top 200 Franchises list, where the company was No. 1 in the Retail category. The company was also No. 149 in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2015 Franchise 500.

The company stays true to its mission of bringing birds and people together in backyards. Not only does Wild Birds Unlimited provide information and education to individuals, it also works with nature organizations such as the Audubon Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Wildlife Federation, and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, to preserve wildlife habitat.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Wild Birds Unlimited franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD.

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2015 FDD) and Analysis



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