OfficeMate banking on franchising

29-Aug-2020 Intellasia | BangkokPost | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Despite the fragile economy, OfficeMate Omni Franchises Co, a subsidiary of COL Plc, the operator of office supply, stationery and bookstores under Central Group, vows to beef up its business via franchising and a new business model.

Wilawan Rerkriengkrai, president of OfficeMate Omni Franchises Co, said the company will not open any new stores of its own this year, instead focusing on sales distribution expansion, particularly via the franchise system.

The company slashed its investment budget to 200 million baht this year from a planned 250 million, with the majority of that slated to build IT and facilities to support the new business model.

“We want to relocate existing stores to more proper locations and ramp up expansion of OfficeMate Plus, our franchise store,” she said.

“There are more than 50 provinces that don’t have OfficeMate stores, so there is huge potential across the country.”

There are four OfficeMate Plus franchise stores and the company plans to raise that figure to 13 by end of the year, bringing the total number of OfficeMate stores to 88, up from 76 last year.

Of the total, 75 stores will belong to OfficeMate and 13 stores would be OfficeMate Plus (franchise).

In five years, the company aims to have 150 OfficeMate Plus stores and 100 OfficeMate stores.

“After the Covid-19 crisis, operation cost is the most important factor in doing business. Franchising is one of the best alternatives,” said Ms Wilawan.

“We have over 25 years of experience in the office supplies, IT items, furniture and essential business-to-business products.”

Investors interested in an OfficeMate Plus franchise must pay a 2.9 million-baht franchise fee, she said. Average sales of each franchise store are 500,000 to 1 million baht per month, taking about 3.5 years to break even.

Ms Wilawan said the company will restart opening its own OfficeMate stores next year, though the focus would shift to furniture, factory and HoReCa (hotel, restaurant and catering) products under the new business model.

It is possible to open OfficeMate stores that sell furniture, factory products and HoReCa under a speciality store concept in the medium term, she said.

Sales of OfficeMate in 2020 are expected to stay unchanged from 7.16 billion baht in 2019.


Category: Thailand

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