KIMCO REALTY CORP: Has Driven Franchising into the Fast Lane
The company adapted to the demands of a fasterpaced world in 2011 and launched FastTrack Franchise, a program that allows franchisors to preapprove retail locations for potential franchises.
Kimco then markets these pre-approved locations to interested entrepreneurs via its website. When franchisees are choosing a location for their business, they can simply choose one from the list of pre-approved sites, saving the time of submitting a location to the franchisor that might not be approved. The FastTrack Franchise program accelerates the site-selection, approval, and leasing process for everyone involved at no extra cost. “FastTrack presents franchise operators with the opportunity to expand their portfolios using their own tailored site selection criteria, rather than franchisee preferences,” Kimco Director of Portfolio Reviews Kimberly Covino said in a recent interview. “Furthermore, the pre-approval of locations leaves the guesswork out of the equation for the potential franchisee – they can easily browse a list of spaces they know will work for the franchise they would like to open, removing some of the roadblocks to an eventual store opening.”
Kimco is in the perfect position to run the program, as it owns and operates North America’s largest publicly traded portfolio of neighborhood and community shopping centers. Headquartered in New Hyde Park, NY, the company currently owns interests in 732 shopping centers comprising of 103.4 million square feet of leasable space in the U.S.
Developing the FastTrack program involved creating a database of all theactive and growing franchises throughout the country, along with information on their particular site selection criteria.
The company then cross-referenced this information with Kimco’s internal database of available retail space and associated data points to develop a list of potential spaces tailored to each franchise.
The company then contacted the target franchises to gauge their interest in the program, and reviewed the list of Kimco availabilities that were a fit with their location criteria.
If Kimco’s shopping centers were in markets that the franchisors were interested in and the available space was ideal for them, they pre-approved those centers for their concept.
Today, Kimco has over 20 franchises on board with over 100 pre-approved franchise locations across the U.S. These franchises include: Anytime Fitness, Great Clips, Pearle Vision, UPS Store and Moe’s Southwest Grill.
For franchisors looking to join the program, Covino said, Kimco has over 800 properties to choose from, with excellent demographics, heavy foot traffic, and prime visibility.
FastTrack Franchise is catering to the growing demographic of entrepreneurs Corp. “The FastTrack Franchise program accelerates the site-selection, approval, and leasing process.” who want to run their own business, but may not be sure where to start, Covino said. For these entrepreneurs, franchises are a great option. And with Kimco’s vast selection of available retail space and its connections in the franchise community, the company is helping pair ambitious, talented entrepreneurs with businesses that are looking to expand their reach through franchising.
“What sets Kimco apart from its competition,” Covino said, “is that entrepreneurs get to skip a lot of needless steps in setting up their franchise.”
“For potential franchisees using FastTrack Franchise, they’re not getting the average site-selection experience, where typically there would be a lot of back and forth between the franchisee and franchisor in
rying to find a location that’s a fit for the concept,” Covino said. “Instead, using our simple web tool, potential franchisees can select the franchise they are interested in, and browse pre-approved sites within the Kimco portfolio, without worrying whether or not the franchisor will accept the location. Alternatively, interested entrepreneurs can browse by location and see which franchises have pre-approved spaces in their desired area.” For franchisors, the FastTrack team conducts custom portfolio reviews to produce a tailored list of current and upcoming availabilities in Kimco’s portfolio of high-quality locations, based on the franchisor’s specific criteria. Potential franchisees are invited to explore Kimco’s FastTrack Franchise database of pre-approved franchise space at