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FDD Talk 2016: The Woodcraft Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on October 7, 2016

in FDD Talk 2017: Retail Franchises, Franchise Earnings, Retail Franchise

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In this FDD Talk 2016 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Woodcraft franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Woodcraft franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2016 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of Woodcraft’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2016 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2015 average total revenue, cost of goods sold, gross profit, operating expenses, and store profit for the 59 franchisee-owned Woodcraft retail stores open one year or longer that have provided the franchisor with the necessary data in providing these calculations, grouped according to level of total revenue (low – less than $1.4 million; medium – $1.4 million to $2.3 million; and high – greater than $2.3 million)

Section I – Background Information

The history of this specialty retail chain dates all the way back to the 1920s with a small one-room shop in the North End of Boston started by George Eaton and Richard Merrill. The tiny store set out to refurbish and sell industrial woodworking equipment needed by area cabinetmakers and schools.

In the 1950s, Woodcraft started offering specialized woodworking tools for professional woodworkers as well as skilled craftsmen and hobbyists through mail order catalogs.

When Sam Ross, founder of SBR in Parkersburg, West Virginia purchased Woodcraft in 1987, the company began moving its operations there and developing its store concept thanks to SBR’s extensive retail experience.

The company started franchising its concept in 1997 and is widely recognized as having one of the largest, most versatile and comprehensive collection of woodworking tools in the nation. Woodcraft is committed to not only equipping but also educating woodworkers everywhere.

Their website notes that there are currently 75 locations, with five of those being company-owned. This is down from the last known peak of locations in 2008, when there were 91.

With its motto of Helping You Make Wood Work, here’s how Woodcraft ensures it has the sharpest tools in the shed:

More Than Tools

In addition to its superior selection of woodworking tools, Woodcraft offers extensive educational programming and materials in its mission to help woodworkers get the best results possible. The company teaches more than 13,000 classes each year to more than 50,000 students. Its efforts include the bi-monthly Woodcraft Magazine and an extensive collection of articles, instructions, project plans, and videos made available through the company’s website.

An Extensive Collection

Franchisees can concentrate on developing their store knowing that Woodcraft is behind the scenes acting as the warehouse, importer, supplier, and distribution center for such brands as Pfeil SwissMade, Delta, Porter-Cable, DeWalt, Jet, Powermatic, Fein, Festool, Steel City, Rikon, and many more. Other products such as related tools and finishes are also available to carry under the WoodRiver and Pinnacle labels.

The 1.5 million catalogs distributed each year feature more than 8,000 items.

A Powerful Guarantee

Woodcraft is confident about its products; so much so that it offers the following guarantee on its website: If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, “…return it anytime within 90 days and we will gladly replace the product, give you credit, or refund your money, whichever you prefer. Woodcraft’s Guarantee does not apply to power tools, which are subject only to manufacturer’s warranties. Special-order items or manufacturer drop-ships are subject to a 25% restocking fee.”

Keeping Up with the Times

Woodcraft may be a very old company, but it has definitely kept up with the times technologically. It was one of the first woodworking companies to have an online presence, having launched its website and Internet catalog in 1995. It knows that fast shipping is important to customers, and ensures that orders placed before noon EST are shipped the same day. Woodcraft also just recently revamped its mobile app for those who prefer accessing Woodcraft on tablets and smartphones.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Woodcraft franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2016 FDD.

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

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