Fast-Fix looks to widen no of Sacramento-area franchisees

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 3:02 AM

The Florida-based franchisor is looking to widen its presence around Northern California, said , the chief executive of , and one franchisee is already scouting locations in Folsom.

Fast-Fix looks to widen no of Sacramento-area franchisees

Folsom resident Colleen King drives over to look franchisee Liem Luong at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights when she wants to obtain her jewelry and watches repaired, but Folsom soon will obtain its own Fast-Fix.

The Florida-based franchisor is looking to widen its presence around Northern California, said , the chief executive of , and one franchisee is already scouting locations in Folsom. In addition to Citrus Heights, the company has a franchisee at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville.

“Northern CA is open to us, places love Redding, Santa Rosa, Petaluma and obviously Sacramento,” Weber said. “We just perceive there’s a enormous opportunity for us to continue to expand.”

Weber said he arrived at Fast-Fix just eleven months ago as a consultant, brought on by the owner, Miami-based Pine Tree Equity Partners, to analyze the business and to outline new business opportunities. After he developed a business strategy, he said, Pine Tree’s partners asked him to stay on and he presently has a tiny equity stake in the business.

Weber’s resume includes stints in executive management for such companies as , and Blockbuster. He actually started with Blockbuster at its inception and worked there until one year after that company was acquired by . Since signing on as CEO of Fast-Fix, he's coaxed the company’s founder, Tag Goldstein,to return to assistance out new franchisees.

“He founded the company thirty years ago,” Weber said. “I spoke with him, and he still had the same passion for the business that he'd all those years ago.... He’s very excited to arrive on board and assistance me to continue to grow the business.”

Goldstein started the business up in Pittsburgh, Pa., but moved it to S FL a few years later. Fast-Fix, presently based in Boca Raton, Fla., has one hundred sixty stores. Most of them are located in Florida, Texas, AZ and California, but there are a few franchisees in Ireland and England.

The company has about fifty stores in the Golden State, but most of them are in Southern California. The original Fast-Fix franchisee, based in Texas, is still with the company, Weber said, and he owned as many as ten stores at one time.

“Over the past four or five years, he's sold off nine of them to his employees,” Weber said. “He’s created opportunities for nine other individuals. He’s retained one store, and I imagine in a few years, he will retire.”

Luong, an Elk Grove resident, did repair work at jewelry stores for more than twenty-five years before a companion introduced him to the Fast-Fix franchise. Luong decided to open a store in two thousand-seventh, he said, and the company steered him into a site at Sunrise Mall.

“We have two types of franchisees,” Weber said. “We have a franchisee who's actually a jeweler or a watchmaker, and then we've franchisees who are businesspeople who hire jewelers and watchmakers. In either case, the jeweler or watchmaker is generally behind the counter doing work. They hire someone to manage the front of the shop and be their sales person. That person becomes the unofficial mayor of the mall, getting to know employees at other businesses and soliciting referrals. In other cases, where the owner isn't the jeweler/watchmaker, they’re the ones that obtain out front and deal with the customers and work the mall.”

Fast-Fix tries to dispose its franchisees in malls or outlet malls because they allow a built-in source of traffic, Weber said. While some franchisees have opened kiosks within malls, the majority of Fast-Fix stores actually are tucked into 600- to 800-square-foot stores. Franchisees allow a no of services, including re-sizing rings, fixing the frames of broken glasses, replacing cell phone screens and remounting diamonds. They also frequently sell look bands and a tiny choice of jewelry.

“This business won't be made obsolete by the Internet,” Weber said. “Sure, you can send things far (for repair), but are you going to send your engagement ring off to someone 1.000 miles away? Not likely. Most women wish to stand there while we work on their diamond rings. They’re rather protective.”

King said that she wears about ten rings on her hands and wouldn’t go anywhere else to obtain them cleaned or repaired. In fact, she said, she’s recommended Fast-Fix to co-workers.

“These guys are fair, very fair. Their prices are good,” she said. “I’ve been to other jewelers before..., and let me tell you, they rip you off. I can arrive here and obtain things done for a lot cheaper and a lot better quality of work.”

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