Pickled Pepper Books looks to franchise bookstore brand

Pickled Pepper Books looks to franchise bookstore brand

North London-based children’s bookshop Pickled Pepper Books is looking to franchise its brand, with owner Urmi Merchant saying he made the decision after a Waterstones branch opened in the area.

Owner Urmi Merchant, said: "Having a Waterstones on our doorstep knocked our sales by 40%, so we had to react - and we did so with a business remodel. Our shop is now events-led, and with our revamped model any Pickled Pepper Books can operate in a competitive high street location. Part of the drive to grow is my own desire to work with in a peer network as I have no interest in running 10 shops. Franchising is the next logical stage. I want to replicate the experience of coming into an indie.”

Franchisees can expect to pay a fee of approximately £16,000, and Merchant estimates that they will need to spend around £45,000 to create the shop and buy stock.

They will carry the Pickled Pepper Books name and branding, but the franchise owners will have full control over stock buying, and will have the freedom to host their own events - a central part to the current Pickled Pepper Books store.

Merchant said she will also offer franchisees support with “location, contacts, regular meeting networks, a section on the central website, social media pages and training in absolutely everything."

"We're also making sure children from deprived backgrounds can access authors and books by bringing them into the shop on school trips, offering them experiences that they might not otherwise have accessed, or the school might not have been able to afford,” she said.

Though the marketing strategy for this franchise scheme is still in development, Merchant hopes franchise locations will open across the country, and there has already been “international interest”, she said.