It’s too late to change business for downturn, Gloria Jean’s boss says

Coffee franchise Gloria Jean’s Coffees will continue to push ahead with overseas expansion as executive chairman Nabi Saleh says companies trying to change their business model to survive the downturn are “too late”.

Nabi Saleh Gloria Jean's Coffees

Coffee franchise Gloria Jean’s Coffees will continue to push ahead with overseas expansion as executive chairman Nabi Saleh (pictured) says companies trying to change their business model to survive the downturn are “too late”.

The coffee chain’s chief warns attempts to alter business models and sales structures are in vain, as “the world is falling apart right around us”.

“It’s too late to do something at this nth hour – you should have been tweaking and altering your business straight away,” he says.

While Saleh says “it’s better late than never”, to fix problems, he thinks businesses should have definitely been on the look-out. “If people put their ears to the ground, they should have already prepared.”

Saleh says Gloria Jean’s is on track, saying the group is not “hurriedly trying” to alter its business models or franchise structure and will continue with its overseas expansion.

“We haven’t seen any form of downturn, be it at the [store] or the in-house level. Yes, there will be lesser consumption over the coming months, but right now it’s not showing up.”

Gloria Jean,s is pushing a big focus on global expansion, with this year’s store openings in Moscow and Qatar bringing the coffee franchise’s total to 899 stores in 31 countries.

“We’ve had the infrastructure in place during the good times. We take our vision, mission and values very strongly, and we’ve had to lay a good foundation right away.”

That said, Saleh admits to carefully examining the health of his franchisees.

“We’ve visited all our franchise partners, done analysis to see their health. We know that our model works very well, but that doesn’t mean to say our franchisees won’t have problems.”

Saleh says franchisors that are bracing for the downturn need to “go back and visit those areas where they are being challenged, and start dealing with those gaps”.

“At the end of the day, you have to check the health of your franchise partners. It’s not just about your business model – you shouldn’t be in business if you don’t have a good model – but at the end of the day, you have to check the health of your franchise partners. You need to check their health beyond the business.”

Saleh says franchisors need to “emphasis a seamless relationship” with franchisees in dealing with any problem that occurs. “It’s the choices they’ve made outside the business that is going to affect them.”

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