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What support do franchisees get?

As a franchisee, you'll enjoy unparalleled support in all key areas of your business:

Location

Location is critical in any retail business, but how do you know if a location is right? Thirty years of experience has taught us what works for our business model and what doesn’t. We understand shopping centres and have access to exclusive data giving us unique insights. One advantage of a network the size of The Athlete’s Foot is our ability to find reasonable existing store comparisons in most areas.

The Athlete’s Foot holds the head lease, which gives us greater negotiating power and reassures both you and the landlord of our commitment to the site. We then operate a license agreement with you that mirrors the head lease. Ultimately there are three key factors in determining location:

  • The right retail precinct (shopping centre, town or strip area)

  • An optimal location within that precinct

  • Appropriate rent - The Athlete’s Foot is conservative in assessing potential sites - an approach that’s key to our franchisees’ long-term success.

Design and Construction

A significant benefit of joining The Athlete’s Foot is the knowledge that customers seek out our brand. Being recognised is critical, so maintaining our image is the starting point for every new store design. From there, local factors and the dimensions of each store are taken into account. We will project manage the construction and fitout of your store and liaise with architects, council, the centre or landlord and builders - keeping you informed and involved throughout the entire process.

For every new store, The Athlete’s Foot goes through a competitive tender procedure to ensure value and quality. We will discuss all decisions with you before any decisions are made. It’s an exciting time and we believe open, transparent partnerships and processes work best for everyone.

Product and Supplier Relations

Being aligned with the market leader gives The Athlete’s Foot franchisees a head start in dealing with supplier partners.

They enjoy:

  • Preferential terms and priority delivery. The best customer gets the best terms and The Athlete’s Foot makes you the best customer. We enjoy significant discounts compared to the standard industry pricing and we’re more likely to obtain priority delivery than any individual store owner.

  • Pre-release products. Our customers enjoy advance product releases or colour updates before the rest of the market.

  • Special buys. When suppliers have excess or end of season stock, The Athlete’s Foot is often given a priority opportunity to buy these at special prices.

  • Exclusive programs and products. The market position and size of The Athlete’s Foot means major manufacturers frequently offer products and product programs at terms not available to our competitors.

  • Special ‘make ups’. Our position in the market encourages manufacturers to produce products with unique specifications to meet our need for a specific price, colour, or group of customers. Every franchisee in The Athlete’s Foot group enjoys the same excellent discounts and trading terms provided by our supplier partners.

At the same time, franchisees have considerable flexibility and autonomy in the range they carry - although head office readily provides support and advice in this critical area of the business.

Naturally, it’s critical for each store to carry nationally advertised styles - these are selected according to brand and product strength, supplier investment, consumer trends and other factors. Buying can be challenging at first - it’s a mixture of art, science and instinct. That’s why franchisees benefit from the franchisors input and expertise.

Knowledge of the market, lessons from past seasons and advice from fellow franchisees give every store an edge when it comes to offering their customers the right product.

During your induction, you’ll be exposed to the fundamentals of buying - the secrets many years of experience has taught the group. However, the most effective learning comes from being on the floor - talking with customers and learning from your colleagues - and The Athlete’s Foot team will help you every step of the way.

Sales and service training

Having the right staff and ensuring they’re well trained is critical for any business and it’s at the heart of delivering The Athlete’s Foot brand promise.
We continue to invest in training to ensure it’s comprehensive and user friendly. From fitting shoes and serving customers to understanding the technology within the footwear and anatomy of the feet and legs - it’s all covered in The Athlete’s Foot training program.

The Athlete’s Foot training platform consists of three accreditation levels:

  • Fit Technician

  • Fit Specialist

  • Master Fit Technician

At The Athlete’s Foot, our focus is always on continual improvement and ongoing learning via pre and post course work, face-to-face training, individual workbooks, role plays/scenarios, videos and online learning (OLE). Few retailers offer this level of training and it contributes to staff retention as well as customer satisfaction.

Visual merchandising

It’s the detail in retail that counts. Having an exciting, stimulating environment for our customers is fundamental to our success - a clean, tidy and maintained store reflects pride in your team, your store, and our shared brand.

Shoes are always displayed in one direction, but product and category flow is flexible, and where appropriate, franchisees are encouraged to create displays that appeal to their local market.

The store design and layout provides consistency across the group, as do in-store graphics, uniforms, name badges, and regularly supplied marketing material.

An annual calendar makes in-store marketing easy for franchisees - the year is mapped out for you, and covers window displays, stands and more. Attention grabbing campaigns promote key brands and developments in shoe technology, and are updated every three to four weeks.

Marketing

At The Athlete’s Foot it all begins with fit. The brand new FITZI® fitting system, the world's most comprehensive fit analysis tool, now further helps staff expertise deliver an experience and outcome to customers that enables them to be fit for life. The fit proposition extends beyond the right fit for your foot to finding the right fit for life. The purchase of new footwear can often be attributed to a new beginning such as commencing a regular exercise program, starting a new season of sport, back to school or adjusting life for medical reasons.

Fit is the core message in every advertising message and has the ability to be executed in a rational and emotional context.

A national advertising program is delivered to support all The Athlete’s Foot stores with a targeted multi-channel approach across Outdoor, TV, digital, social, radio and driving local and strong ambassador campaigns through social media. The relaunch of the Clubfit Loyalty program also delivers targeted and relevant messaging to the customer bases of all stores. Key advertising categories include: Running, School, Netball, Football & Lifestyle. 

Franchisees are encouraged to implement local marketing activities with Clubfit, local press, radio, shopping centre signage, and social channels to maximise the success of national campaigns.

Supporting the fit proposition The Athlete’s Foot continues to maintain strong relationships with medical organisations. Sponsorship, in-store events and advertising are the key elements to this program. Local franchisees are encouraged to have strong relationships with local podiatrists to assist them in finding the right fit for their patients.

Stepping outside the store and playing an active role in the community is also important in driving incremental sales opportunities. Through The Athlete’s Foot School Rewards Program, local franchisees have the opportunity to educate schools on the importance of fit and provide schools with solutions to support school uniform policy.

The company we keep


Brands like Asics, Brooks, New Balance, Nike, Adidas, Mizuno, Saucony, Merrell and Ascent are eager to partner The Athlete’s Foot. As recognised ‘Fit Experts,’ these brands see endorsement by The Athlete’s Foot as key to maintaining credibility. That’s why they each invest heavily in collaborating with The Athlete’s Foot in advertising and promotional activities throughout the year.