November may not be the ideal time to open a store in Indiana that sells only flip-flops, but with estimated highs in the upper 50s and holiday traffic the next few days, the opening of Flip Flop Shops in Glenbrook Square today may draw some attention. The retail chain exclusively sells flip-flops and sandals, featuring Sanuk, Quiksilver and Roxy brands.
Owner Brandon Jones, 33, already owns two Smashburger franchises in Kentucky and five Buffalo Wild Wings locations in Indiana. It wasn’t until a Web search pulled up Flip Flop Shops that he thought of adding retail to his list of business ventures. “All I really know are restaurant and bar businesses,” said Jones. “I thought if this was as cool as it sounds…I’d want in.” It was an easy decision for Jones, who admitted that while it could be a struggle to sell flip-flops this time of year, vacations and other stores concentrating on winter apparel will bring in sales, as well as the store’s location above the food court.
One mall shopper, Molly Ames, said she didn’t wear flip-flops in cold weather, but might look at a pair as a Christmas gift. “I have a few friends that might wear them…even in the winter,” said Ames, 27.
Jones is connecting his businesses through joint offers, including a $5 Buffalo Wild Wings coupon for every $20 Flip Flop Shops gift card purchased and a $5 Flip Flop Shops coupon for every $25 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card purchased. Both offers will run through Christmas. A pair of women’s red Sanuk flip-flops runs for $55.95 and women’s Roxy sandals for $14.50.
He doesn’t have exact future locations in mind, but Jones plans to open more Flip Flop Shops once the Glenbrook store makes a profit. Four out of the six employees followed Jones from Buffalo Wild Wings.
Founded in 2004, Flip Flop Shops became a franchise in 2008 and was ranked No. 170 in the 2012 Inc. 500|5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the United States. The retail chain plans for 236 new locations to be opened or in development by ’13, as stated in a media release. There are more than 70 shops in operation and more than 100 under development throughout the U.S.