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FDD Talk 2017: What You Need to Know About the Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Costs and Fees)

by Franchise Chatter on May 3, 2017

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



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Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Photo

In this FDD Talk 2017 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 2017 FDD
  • Section III – Initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees for a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD
  • Section IV – Presentation and analysis of Wild Birds Unlimited’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2017 FDD, including information on the:
  • fiscal years 2014, 2015, and 2016 same store gross sales percent change for those Wild Birds Unlimited stores open and operational for at least 24 months
  • fiscal years 2014, 2015, and 2016 average gross sales for those Wild Birds Unlimited franchises open and operational for at least 24 months as of December 31, 2014, December 31, 2015, and December 31, 2016, respectively
  • fiscal year 2016 average gross sales for Wild Birds Unlimited franchises broken down by number of years of operation
  • actual number of stores, which were open and operational for at least 24 months as of the end of the applicable fiscal year, that achieved certain gross sales levels for fiscal years 2014, 2015, and 2016
  • summary of gross sales for the first full 12 months of operation for stores that opened between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015 and that had completed at least 12 full months of operation as of December 31, 2016
  • summary of gross sales for the second full 12 months of operation for stores that opened between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014 and that had completed at least their second 12 full months of operation as of December 31, 2016
  • average monthly sales volume percentage that contributed to the 2016 gross sales for those Wild Birds Unlimited franchises open and operational for at least 24 months as of December 31, 2016
  • average cost of goods sold for products offered by the stores open a full 24 months in each of 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as the average of advertising and wage expenses incurred by first year stores that completed their first year of operation in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015
  • fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015 average owner’s discretionary cash flow achieved by stores as reported by franchisees that were operating the previous full 24 months

Section I – Background Information

8 Things You Need to Know About the Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise

Continued Growth



1.  In 2016, Wild Birds Unlimited celebrated another record breaking year by reaching its goal of awarding 20 new franchises that year, with 10 of the stores already open for business. Just the year before, the company increased its number of awarded franchise units by 50 percent, from 10 to 15.

2.  Wild Birds Unlimited started off 2017 by announcing its plans to sign 14 new franchise agreements by the end of April. These new agreements would bring Wild Birds Unlimited within striking distance of its 2017 goal of awarding 20 new franchises by the end of the year.

3.  Also early in the year, Wild Birds opened new locations in two key development markets:  Huntington Beach, California and Keller, Texas. According to the company, both locations are already thriving. The owners of these two locations plan to eventually open more stores.

4.  The company hopes to continue its momentum by strengthening and refining its processes and systems. According to Lisa McGill, the Manager of Franchise Development at Wild Birds Unlimited, the company is looking to enter communities where the franchise does not yet have a presence.

Ranking High on Various Top Franchise Lists

5.  For the past 12 years, Wild Birds Unlimited has earned a top spot on Franchise Business Review’s annual Top 200 Franchises list. In 2015, the company earned the No. 9 spot in the Enterprise Class of the publication’s Franchise 50 Franchise Satisfaction Awards and snagged the No. 1 spot in the retail category. Wild Birds Unlimited also earned the No. 9 spot on Franchise Gator’s Top 100 Franchises list.



6.  Paul Pickett, Chief Development Officer for Wild Birds Unlimited, says that the company’s continued success can be attributed to how it strives to make sure that all of its franchisees have the support they need. According to Pickett, the strong sense of community that the company has built with its franchisees continues to fuel its growth.

Company History

7.  Wild Birds Unlimited was first opened in 1981 by Jim Carpenter in Indianapolis, Indiana. Carpenter used a small inheritance to open the first location. Carpenter began franchising a few years later in 1983 after the nephew of one of his first employees noticed how happy Carpenter was everyday and said that he wanted to do what Carpenter was doing too. Today, the company’s headquarters is located in Carmel, Indiana. There are over 300 Wild Birds Unlimited locations in the United States and Canada.

Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

8.  Wild Birds Unlimited has ranked on Entrepreneur’s annual Franchise 500 list every year for the last decade. In fact, 2017 marks the 30th consecutive year that the company has ranked on the list. Wild Birds Unlimited’s highest rank in the last ten years was at No. 123 in 2012 and its lowest was at No. 364 in 2008.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Wild Birds Unlimited franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2017 FDD (updated).

Section III – Initial Franchise Fee, Royalty Fee, Marketing Fee, and Other Fees

  • Please click here for detailed information on Wild Birds Unlimited’s initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD.

Section IV – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2017 FDD) and Analysis



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