Rank no. 394 – HobbyTown USA – US
Products & Services: General hobbies & supplies, toys
Number of Locations: 156
Total Investment: $137K – 332K
Began Franchising: 1986
About HobbyTown USA
Merlin P. Hayes and his wife launched a hobby shop in Lincoln, Nebraska, in the 1970s. Through this store, Hayes met Thomas Walla, and together they bought out a competing store, Hobby Town, in 1980.
From that one store HobbyTown USA was born. The company began franchising in 1986 and also has an e-commerce site.
HobbyTown USA stores sell games, toys, remote control cars and planes, train sets, rockets and models.
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units throughout the U.S.
Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing
Total Investment: $137,000 – $332,000
Franchise Fee: $20,000 – $25,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 3%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable
Net Worth: $100,000 – $250,000
Liquid Cash Available: $75,000 – $125,000
5% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 4. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (95% of current franchisees are owner/operators).
How This Franchise Supports Franchisees
Training: Available at headquarters: 1 week. At franchisee’s location: 3 weeks.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives, Lease Negotiation
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, National media,
Franchise Ranking History
Franchise 500®: #394 (2013), #383 (2012), #397 (2011), #302 (2009),
HobbyTown USA® was founded in 1980 by Merlin Hayes and Thomas Walla with the purchase of a local business in Lincoln, Nebraska. The corporation was established for the sole purpose of sharing their dream with other people who wanted to own their own hobby store.
Today, HobbyTown USA® is a nationally registered franchise, and the company is widely regarded as a leader in the retail hobby industry. There are currently over 170 HobbyTown USA® franchises open or under development in 43 states.
With the company motto of “Building Your Dream," it is the largest retail hobby franchise in the world. More importantly, there are now hundreds of owners realizing their dream of being their own boss and having fun while they do it.