Economy

How I negotiate great rent deals with my retail landlords

Patrick Stafford /

How-I-improve-negotiate-100Dean Crowe is the managing director of retail coffee shop chain Coffee Guru. It’s been a hard year for retail, but Crowe has managed to turn his chain into a strong group of franchises, turning over $2.8 million a year.

Part of the reason Crowe has been so successful is his ability to negotiate good rent deals with landlords, even when they’re being picky. He says it’s all about his approach, which relies on setting deals in small groups of locations, which he claims can reap a better result.

So how’s business been?

It’s good. We’re not breaking any records, but it’s still good.

You’ve done a bit of rebranding lately. What was the motivation for that?

Well, we wanted to get into franchised coffee stores and we felt they were all starting to look the same. We wanted a point of difference in our product, and not only in the way we appear but also in the way customers can perceive who we are.

With us being new in the market, many of the larger chains are trying to formulate a growth strategy based on what other people have done. We’re trying to stay away from that.

Last year you did $2.8 million. Are you looking at improving on that?

I’d have to confirm and check, but I know it’s going to be at least that for this year, I’m just not sure of the growth rate. It will be at least that figure.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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