Why a WBU Franchise
While we know that we literally sell bird food and bird feeding products, what we really sell is “Joy”. Our Franchise Store Owners and their staff enhance the lives of their customers and their communities. We provide the support to our Franchise Store Owners to live their dream of owning their own business enterprise, and we get to do it in a way that brings Joy to themselves, their retail customers and their communities.
Why should you consider franchising?
- Brand Name Recognition: Franchise store owners do not have to create the brand
- Training and Support: As a new business owner, you do not have to “invent the wheel”, that is the job of your franchisor. Strong franchisors have already created brand standards, best practices to meet those brand standards, training systems and on-going operational support.
- Community: Another great asset of franchising is that you are joining a community of other folks who are already successfully doing what you will be doing, willing to share ideas and best practices and who be a big support network for you.
Why a Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise?
- Winning Culture: In 2020, Franchise Business Review ranked us in the Top 2 for franchisee satisfaction in the Retail Category for the 7th year in a row. When our franchise store owners are happy, we know we are doing something right. And, we are committed to learning more from our owners and franchise community so we can continue to identify best practices for success – then communicate, train and equip you to achieve your goals.
- Favorable Demographics, Trends, and Economics: Backyard bird feeding and nature hobbies continue to grow in popularity in North America. Over the years, we have found that the bird feeding community feeds and cares for their birds just as they do their other household pets.
- Low Investment/Low Franchise Fees: Start-up fees for your Wild Birds Unlimited franchise range between $170,382 – $281,606, which includes our franchise fee of $40,000. Royalties remain at a modest 4% of sales.
- Flexibility: Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc. provides purchasing programs with many of our approved vendors, but you have the flexibility to seek out new vendors that reflect your local culture and cater to the interests of your customers.
- Repeat Business: Our business model is based on the sale of a consumable, bird seed, which our customers return again and again to purchase. This aspect, along with our Daily Savings Club® loyalty program provide you with a solid foundation to build a loyal customer base to support the growth of your business. Our business model also now includes an online/e-commerce option to enhance the convenience of shopping for our customers.
- On-Line Sales Opportunities: Our locally-powered e-commerce platform, MyWBU Store, utilizes your store’s products and pricing (some minimum regional pricing may apply). This strategy keeps control at the local level, rather than a corporate-driven strategy. It was designed to reward your entrepreneurial spirit. It is a proprietary, custom-built e-commerce platform that is designed to work with your brick and mortar franchised store and has proven to give your customers a convenient way to shop between in-store visits.
- Part-time Staff: Typically each store location requires only a few part-time hired staff members to start out. As volume increases in the store, more staff will be required.
Wild Birds Unlimited History
In 1981, Jim Carpenter, our founder and CEO, had a dream. Jim loved the hobby of bird feeding and loved the idea of controlling his own destiny by owning his own business. Jim’s entrepreneurial spirit came naturally; his grandparents had owned a small chain of “Five and Dime” retail stores in Indiana. So, with a big dream and small inheritance, Jim opened the first Wild Birds Unlimited store in Indianapolis, IN. Jim was confident that if he had the best bird feeding products, delivered the finest customer experience and focused on enhancing his customers’ lives by providing them the best way to enjoy the backyard bird feeding hobby, he was sure to succeed. These foundations have not changed over the past 35 years.
It’s a People (and Bird) Business
Our franchisees say that interacting with customers is one of the most rewarding aspects of owning a Wild Birds Unlimited store. You make a difference in your customers’ lives by helping connect them with birds and nature.
Customers tell us that they come back time and again because they value the relationship as much as the expert hobby knowledge and top-quality products. You can’t buy that type of loyalty.
Products Designed by Experts
We understand that folks have options when purchasing bird feeders and other hobby products. They shop Wild Birds Unlimited because our products are designed by experts to meet the needs of the birds and to be enjoyable for the people who use them.
In 1990 Jim Carpenter, Founder and CEO of Wild Birds Unlimited, set out to create the perfect bird feeder. Jim used his many years of observing bird behavior and his understanding of how people feed the birds to design the WBU Classic Feeder.
We continue to use that same level of expert knowledge in designing a wide range of WBU-branded products. As a franchise store owner, you can be confident that you offer the highest-quality bird feeding supplies on the market
Trusted Local Advice
A common theme among our franchisees is their interest and love of birds and nature. You and your staff will serve the community by providing the best local advice on how to enjoy the hobby, which differentiates you from big-box stores and other competitors.
Make a difference in customers’ lives, put a smile on their faces and take care of the birds and nature – who could ask for anything more?
Our Partners in Nature
We have developed partnerships with organizations that support our core mission of bringing people and nature together.
These partnerships offer people the opportunity to learn more about wild birds, and to actively participate in conservation efforts and citizen-science projects.
What’s It Like to Own a Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Store?
“I still have that glow when I’m driving to work in the morning.”
WBU Franchise Store Owner
“The franchise really guides you”
WBU Franchise Store Owner
“I have a franchise that has my back”
Kathy and John Haigh
WBU Franchise Store Owners
“Every Franchisee we have met is happy”
WBU Franchise Store Owner