"By all standards, 2013 was a banner year for FASTSIGNS," said CEO Catherine Monson. "We continued to expand through multiple growth strategies, including opening new centers across the United States and Canada, conversion programs for independent sign shops and continued success with its recently launched Co-Brand opportunity for independent printing businesses. The momentum on all fronts will carry us into a strong 2014."
But Monson isn't the only one feeling confident about the brand. Franchisees gave FASTSIGNS consistently high satisfaction rankings for support, initial and ongoing, and corporate/franchisee communication in two prominent 2013 franchise industry surveys. Below are some additional key highlights that added up to a record year for FASTSIGNS:
- Franchise Research Institute certified FASTSIGNS as a 2013 World-Class Franchise and Franchise Business Review included the company on its 2013 "FBR50" and list of top 100 franchises for military veterans.
- Through FASTSIGNS' multi-level development approach with New, Co-Brand and conversion centers, the company increased its 2013 footprint by opening 30 new centers, including signing an additional 37 franchise agreements for new centers to open in the future.
- FASTSIGNS signed a Letter of Intent for major expansion into five countries, including the United Arab Emirates and North Africa. This expansion is led by Hamdi Osman, chairman of Solitaire IGT and the former chief executive officer of FedEx for the Middle East and Africa.
- System-wide sales have continued strong across the franchise, completing its third year of positive growth. Based on operating statements reported by 237 FASTSIGNS centers open in the United States, the average owner's discretionary profit for those centers for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $206,857. For that same period of time, the average annual gross sales for the top 25 FASTSIGNS centers in the United States were $730,673.
Carrying the momentum into 2014, FASTSIGNS plans to sign 45 franchise agreements and open an additional 40 centers in the United States and Canada. Target growth markets include: Alaska, California, Florida, the Greater New York City area and the Northeast Corridor of the United States. FASTSIGNS also plans to continue to expand in Canada, Central and South America, India, Europe and the Middle East, due to large business-to-business sectors in those regions with a need for its services.