Flip Flop Shops Plans Caribbean Expansion

Flip Flop Shops has announced plans for a 15-shop retail expansion in the Caribbean, and has signed a partnership with Commercial Real Estate Firm CBRE as a way to support the new-found growth.


ATLANTA – North America's first retail chain exclusive to the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops and sandals, Flip Flop Shops today announced its expansion plan to open 15 additional locations throughout the Caribbean in the next five years. As part of this strategy, Flip Flop Shops has hired CBRE Group, Inc. (CBRE) to bring the retailer into 500-900 square foot, high-profile retail locations.

Flip Flop Shops is already operating in St. Maarten and St. Thomas and has two franchise locations planned to open within the next two years in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

"Increased expansion throughout the Caribbean is an essential piece of our global, well-managed growth strategy," said Darin Kraetsch, the CEO (Size 10) of Flip Flop Shops. "The consistent flow of tourists throughout the islands presents a great opportunity for our brand, in terms of new loyal consumers and potential franchisees worldwide. Our shops already in the market are performing at the top of the franchise system and local landlords have already expressed interest in bringing Flip Flop Shops into their retail centers."

Jim de Winter, the Director of Real Estate – Caribbean (Size 9) of CBRE, will be leading Flip Flop Shops' real estate strategy in the region. The highly-regarded specialist in Caribbean real estate consultancy and brokerage has more than 25 years of direct experience working in U.S. domestic and international markets. Having traveled to the region for more than 30 years, he has witnessed the growth and importance of tourism, its economic impact and the increased opportunity for commercial businesses and further retail development. 

"As retailers and global brands have found, the broad international customer base of tourist visitors and the resident population make the Caribbean a very attractive market for many retailers," de Winter said. "Flip flops and sandals are an ideal match of product for these island markets—they are items desired by vacationers and locals alike. The exposure the brand will gain from these new shops will be instrumental to its global expansion." 

Bursting onto the retail scene in 2004, Flip Flop Shops quickly became North America’s first retail chain exclusive to the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops and sandals from such leading brands as Quiksilver, Roxy, REEF, Sanuk, OluKai, Cobian, and Cushe, among others. Its mission: to provide the opportunity for anyone, in any climate, to Live…Work…Play With Their Toes Exposed® with the freedom of flip flops on their feet

"Expansion throughout the Caribbean is long overdue. Since the day we opened our first location on St. Maarten, we knew the Caribbean would be an exciting market for us. We're stoked to increase our footprint with CBRE and its talented group who have a keen understanding of the local commercial real estate market," added Brian Curin, the President (Size 10) of Flip Flop Shops.

Flip Flop Shops has grown its franchise system at a record pace. Since launching its franchise opportunity in 2008, the retailer has received more than 10,000 franchise applications, continuously moved up the ranks of Entrepreneur's prestigious Franchise 500 ranking and the Inc. 500|5000 list, and generated nearly $4 million in franchise fees and more than $16 million in system-wide sales with significant same-shop sales growth.

Today, Flip Flop Shops has more than 50 locations operating throughout the United States, Canada, Guam, and the Caribbean, with 80-plus shops in the development pipeline. Through its well-managed, global-expansion strategy, the brand projects 236 locations to be open or in development throughout select markets by 2013.

 For further information on Flip Flop Shops or to learn more about the franchise opportunity, visit http://franchise.flipflopshops.com/.