27 Jan 2014 – Flip Flop Shops®, one of the fastest growing retail chains in North America, announced a master franchise agreement with major Middle East fashion leader, Al Mana Fashion Group, W.L.L., a subsidiary of Al Mana Group. The agreement includes significant global expansion with the development of 50 Flip Flop Shops retail locations throughout the region, including shops in Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. The new Flip Flop Shops locations will begin opening in early 2014, and will be developed throughout the region over the next ten years.
This is the largest deal in Flip Flop Shops’ history and an impressive international play for this one-of-a-kind company that encourages everyone to “Live… Work…Play With Their Toes Exposed®.” The franchise-based company is the first retailer of its kind devoted exclusively to the latest styles of flip flops and casual footwear from the world’s hottest brands, including Quiksilver, ROXY, SANÜK, OluKai and more. Its mission is to help people “Free Their Toes®” and embrace the relaxing benefits of flip flops and casual footwear for healthier, low stress living. It’s more than just a shop…it’s a lifestyle.
“This is a true testament to the strength of the Flip Flop Shops brand and model. And to be partnering with an internationally renowned fashion retailer such as Al Mana Group is something I consider one of our most significant successes as we expand globally,” said Brian Curin, the President and Co-Founder of Flip Flop Shops (size 10). “The Middle East is currently one of the hottest retail markets in the world, and we couldn’t ask for a better partner to bring our unique offering to this region.”
Representing some of the world’s major international companies, Al Mana Group is involved in some of the largest and most lucrative projects in Qatar and throughout the Middle East.
“Flip Flop Shops is a unique and very marketable addition to our collection of major worldwide fashion brands,” said Andrew Fairall, General Manager of Al Mana Fashion Group’s Sports Division. “We are looking forward to opening the first retail location in Qatar, and announcing that we have dozens of franchise opportunities available throughout the region.”
Flip Flop Shops operates nearly 100 locations globally, and has more than 100 shops in the development pipeline, not including this new, expansive Middle East development. The company’s explosive growth and expansion has greatly helped mature the flip flops and casual footwear industry segment into a year-round contender. In 2013, Flip Flop Shops was named to the Inc. 500 | 5,000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. for the fourth year running, boasting 860-percent growth in the last three years alone.
“The Flip Flop Shops concept has done phenomenally well since we introduced it in North America, and after visiting the Middle East a few years ago, I knew it would be a great market for our brand,” adds Darin Kraetsch, the CEO of Flip Flop Shops (size 10). “Al Mana Group successfully represents only the best concepts and brands, and I’m excited to watch our franchise development continue with this partnership.”
About Flip Flop Shops
Founded in 2004, Flip Flop Shops is the authentic retail chain exclusively devoted to the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops and casual footwear. Its mission is to help people “Free Their Toes®” and embrace the relaxing benefits of flip flops and casual footwear for a healthier, low stress lifestyle. In addition to being an Environmentally Responsible Retailer™, one of the company’s major initiatives is the Heart to Sole: Creating a Stress-Free America campaign, designed to reduce stress levels, improve heart health and support the American Heart Association.
The company began franchising in 2008 and now operates more than 100 shops globally with 100-plus in the worldwide development pipeline. The executive team boasts more than 50 years of experience building and growing some of the world’s fastest-growing franchise concepts, category leaders and some of the world’s most well-known brands, including Cold Stone Creamery, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Nike and OfficeZilla.com. Flip Flop Shops has been awarded the International Council of Shopping Centers’ prestigious “Hot Retailer Award,” and ranked eighth among franchise in the 2013 Inc. 500 | 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.