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FDD Talk 2017: What You Need to Know About the Learning Express Toys Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Costs and Fees)

by Franchise Chatter on October 20, 2017

in Child-Related Franchises, FDD Talk 2017: Children's Franchises, FDD Talk 2017: Retail Franchises, Retail Franchise



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In this FDD Talk 2017 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Learning Express Toys franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Learning Express Toys 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 Learning Express Toys franchise, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD
  • Section IV – Presentation and analysis of Learning Express Toys’ financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2017 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2016 average sales for the 106 Learning Express Toys Stores that have been open one full year or more and are comparable in size and scope to the offer described in the 2017 Disclosure Agreement
  • 2015 average sales for the 109 Learning Express Toys Stores that have been open one full year or more and are comparable in size and scope to the offer described in the 2017 Disclosure Agreement
  • 2014 average sales for the 111 Learning Express Toys Stores that have been open one full year or more and are comparable in size and scope to the offer described in the 2017 Disclosure Agreement

Section I – Background Information

11 Things You Need to Know About the Learning Express Toys Franchise

Opened First Combined Store



1.  In September 2016, Learning Express Toys opened its first Learning Express Toys and Learning Express Play concept store in Bedford, Massachusetts. The new combined store features an activity center and play museum for children ages 6 months through age 8 and hosts classes, birthday parties, and open play.

2.  The play space features more than 16 themed play areas inspired by New England townscapes and nationally recognized children’s museums. The play space includes a general store, design and build center, a veterinary clinic, performing arts center, pretend restaurant, and infant play area, as well as a 1,000 sq. ft. gymnasium with a rock climbing wall.

3.  The store’s grand opening featured guest appearances by popular children’s characters such as Peppa the Pig, Marshall from Paw Patrol, and Cinderella. There were also contests, raffles, and doorbuster events over the opening weekend.

Franchisees Often Give Back to Local Communities

4.  Learning Express franchisees are often involved with their local communities and take the time to participate in charitable events in their area. One of the most recent examples of this charitable spirit was the fundraiser hosted by Learning Express Toys of Sunnyvale, California on September 17. The store hosted the fundraiser to raise money for Magical Bridge Playground, an accessible playground for people of all ages and abilities.

5.  Magical Bridge Playground will include a slide mound, spin zone, tot zone, swing & sway zone, and much more – accessible to all, including people who use wheelchairs. The Magical Bridge Foundation is currently raising the $3.3 million needed for construction, which is slated to start in fall 2018.



6.  The event held by Learning Express Toys Sunnyvale was free, but a percentage of that day’s sales was donated to the Magical Bridge Foundation. Sangeeta Anand, owner of Learning Express Toys of Sunnyvale, said, “Our mission at Learning Express Toys is to inspire growth through play, and this playground will support that goal for all children.”

New Locations

7.  Learning Express Toys’ growth has been slow and steady. So far in 2017, the franchise has opened two new locations, one in Tampa, Florida and the other in Frisco, Texas. The South Tampa location is the newest store, opened in early April; it is owned by Susan Foster and her daughter Erika Stigleman, who already own a few Learning Express Toys locations and are in their ninth year of franchising with the company.

8.  The Frisco, Texas location was opened in late March and is owned and operated by Thomas and Sonnie Stanford. The Standfords said, “We want to add value to our community through a toy store that focuses on educating and developing everyone through various forms of play. This new venture allows us to provide a quality service to our community through direct interactions.”

Company History

9.  Learning Express Toys was founded in 1987 by Sharon DiMinico in Acton, Massachusetts. At the time, DiMinico was chair of the Board of Directors and parent of two children at Groton Community School. She proposed a business plan for the school to open a specialty toy store in order to raise additional revenue for the school and prevent tuition increases.



10.  After the school opened the first Learning Express Toys location in early 1987, DiMinico opened the first store owned by Learning Express, Inc. in Needham, Massachusetts later that year. DiMinico began franchising Learning Express Toys in 1990 and the first franchised location opened in Andover, Massachusetts. Today, there are more than 120 Learning Express Toys locations across the U.S., each one locally owned and operated.

Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

11. Learning Express Toys has appeared only once on Entrepreneur’s annual Franchise 500 list in the last decade – it ranked at No. 271 in 2017.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Learning Express Toys franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2017 FDD.

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

  • Please click here for detailed information on Learning Express Toys’ 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

  • Learning Express Toys is reporting only on those businesses open one full year or more and are comparable in size and scope to the offer described in the 2017 Disclosure Agreement.
  • The Learning Express Toys location in Fremont, Nebraska is a fractional franchise operating as a toy department within a drug store; therefore, it is not included below.
  • These revenue figures are of specific operations and should not be considered as the actual or potential sales or earnings figures which any other franchisee could realize.
  • The average sales for all Stores are as follows:

2014



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