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Franchise?


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I have been in the minilab business here in South Africa for 15 years but am considering emigrating to the UK soon. So I'm able to begin where I've lefty off with a good customer base, etc, I'm considering a franchise like Snappy Snaps. Can those in the industry share some of their experiences - good or bad, or their knowledge of the chain? Jon Parsons

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Mnnn, there are not that many over here. You have Fuji to consider, but when we got in touch with them in recent times, they were not, lets say "flexible" in any way, so they went out of the window.

You have got Kodak Express, but I would not touch that with a barge pole, was a member for 15 years, but got treated in the later years like shite, so would not even touch Kodak for anything.

Snappy Snaps will want a share of any profit, so you will need to look into this in detail.

Running as an independent, as been a massive plus for us.

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I have looked at Kodak Express but think that it would be better buying a shop that is already running. From time to time Snappy Snaps seem to have franchises come up for sale and I have always been impressed when I've seen their stores in London.

What I wanted to find out was how they are seen in the market. Do members know of any failures and how well do they compete with the independants? Those recent postings about Klick makes me realise how difficult things are for us all.

I am not worried about paying percentages. We are in a Mall here in SA so are used to having to share our profits.

Thanks in anticipation as this is not the kind of feedback you can easily get talking to the franchisor.

Jon

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Thank you to those Snappy Snaps franchisees who emailed me directly. It seems the group is very well organised and doing well. Thanks also to those that have sent through details of their stores that are available for sale. I appreciate the opportunities.

I'd still like to know a little more about the group and am planning to visit London soon. Could those that have responded give me some details on these questions;

1/ With closures among the chains have Snappy Snaps closed many and what reasons have they closed for?

2/ How do they compete price wise with others in the market?

3/ How are they managing digital prints - Kodak direct printing kiosks or kiosks networked to labs?

4/ Have any stores adopted multi kiosking? How many kiosks are they using in each store?

5/ If there were flagship branches which ones should I see?

6/ What choice of machinery are most franchises using?

I'd also like to hear from independants on their perspectives on the market. Thanks again and I look forward to your postings

Jon

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I think that buying either a franchise or an existing store is definitely the way to go. Considering the minilab industry is going through such rapid change starting from afresh would take too long before you saw payback. Snappy Snaps are a great group but their stores are looking very dated. They are paying not only for franchise fees but also for that expensive Kodak paper and chemistry!

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I have been watching this thread with interest. I used to manage a Snappy Snaps store and before that, Klick. Currently I'm touring around the world and working in a busy minilab in New Zealand,

Snappy Snaps is a well organised group but you don't need to join a franchise system to be successful. The people who have done well did so because they didn't have any knowledge - so S/S helped them through. If you've been in the business before you will know what to do.

By the way, the store I'm working in now would put any of the UK labs I've seen to shame. They have 12 kiosks linked to the lab and are full-on all the time. Today alone we did about 300 transactions through those kiosks - let alone all the other orders. When I left England I thought the photo business was in real trouble but seeing this made me realise there is lots of potential.

Oh, and they don't use Kodak product either!

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