Why Choose to Become a Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Owner?
The backyard bird feeding and wild bird feeding industry is thriving, and WBU is the leading retail franchise serving the market.
Wild Birds Unlimited is a leader in the wild bird feeding industry. Every day, each one of our more than 350 franchise store owners has the chance to live out their dream of owning their own business, and they get to do it in a way that brings them fulfillment while also delivering joy to their customers, and their communities.
Here’s why owning a Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise is a great investment, and what makes us unique.
Wild Birds Unlimited is Resilient!
The challenges associated with the pandemic were, and continue to be challenging, especially for retail franchises like those in the wild bird feeding industry. As a team, we worked together to be a bright light in an otherwise dark time for so many people. Our ability to pivot and continue to bring the Joy of Backyard Bird Feeding to our customers made us stronger, more resilient, and open to change to embrace being a Renaissance company. Change is inevitable, Growth is Optional…at Wild Birds Unlimited, we choose Growth!
The Bird Feeding and Wildlife Hobbyist Industry is Recession-Proof
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation National Overview (Issued August 2017):
- 81 Million people participate in feeding birds and other wildlife
- $5 Billion is spent annually on birdseed and wildlife food
- $960 Million is spent annually on bird feeders, bird baths, and nesting boxes
- $1.8 Billion is spent annually on binoculars and spotting scopes
- $7.6 Billion is spent annually on bird feeding and watching wildlife
The Benefits of Franchise Ownership
The franchise business model has existed for over 150 years and offers many advantages. One of the most widely known expressions in franchising is, “Be in business for yourself…but not by yourself.”
Why become a franchisee?
- Brand Name Recognition: Franchise store owners can leverage the strength of the company’s brand awareness and reputation.
- Training and Support: As a new business owner, you’re buying into a proven model. Strong franchisors have established brand standards, best practices, training systems, and on-going operational support.
- Community: You are joining a community of other like-minded business owners. This family of entrepreneurs is already successfully doing what you will be doing; they’re willing to collaborate, share ideas and best practices, and be a support network for you along the way.
Why Choose to Own a Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise?
- Winning Culture: In 2021, Franchise Business Review ranked us in the Top 2 for franchisee satisfaction in the Retail Category for the 8th year in a row. When our franchise store owners are happy, we know we are doing something right. Our executive team is 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 our wildlife franchises are recession-proof. The bird feeding community feeds and cares for their birds just as they do their other household pets. In fact, people spend $5 billion a year on bird seed and wildlife food.
- Low Investment/Low Franchise Fees: Start-up costs for your Wild Birds Unlimited franchise range between $185,179 – $311,043, 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 approved vendors, yet allows you 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 consumable bird food, which keeps customers coming back. This, along with our Daily Savings Club® loyalty program, provides you with a solid foundation to build a loyal customer base to support the growth of your business.
- Online 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 allows you to maintain control, rather than a corporate-driven strategy. It rewards your entrepreneurial spirit. This proprietary e-commerce platform is designed to work with your brick-and-mortar franchise 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. Then, as you generate awareness and sales increase, more staff will be required.
What Are Some Other Advantages of Being a Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Owner?
- You get to be in the People Business. Our franchisees tell us that interacting with customers is one their favorite parts of ownership. Helping customers find fulfillment and enabling them to connect with birds and nature is rewarding. As an owner, you build loyal customer relationships through your personal service, expert hobby knowledge, and top-quality products.
- You supply best-in-class wildlife products. Our customers have options, but they repeatedly choose Wild Birds Unlimited because our products are designed by experts to meet the needs of the birds and hobbyists. In 1990, after many years of observing bird behavior, our Founder and CEO Jim Carpenter designed the WBU Classic Feeder. Since then, we’ve continued to use our expert knowledge to design a wide range of Wild Birds Unlimited-branded products. As a franchise owner, you can have confidence that you’re offering the highest quality bird feeding supplies on the market.
- You have access to great partners. We have long-term partnerships with organizations that support our core mission of bringing people and nature together. Each partnership offers opportunities for customers and staff alike to learn more about wild birds and to actively participate in conservation efforts and citizen-science projects.
More Questions About Becoming a Wild Birds Unlimited Franchisee? Check Out Our FAQs.
Learn More About Becoming a Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Owner
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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.