A Jupiter-based pet grooming chain launched has six franchised locations planned throughout Palm Beach County.
Scenthound, founded in 2015 by CEO Tim Vogel, recently signed two franchising agreements. Each agreement will lead to three new locations.
Vogel told the Business Journal that three Scenthound stores are planned for Boca Raton, with another three are slated to open in Palm Beach Gardens. The first locations for each deal should open by February, he said. There are currently corporate-owned Scenthounds in Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach and Wellington.
Vogel, who entered the industry in 2005 with his first mobile grooming truck, said he hopes to have 10 franchise units planned by the end of 2019, with an additional 30 planned and 20 open by the end of 2020.
“The way I look at us is that we are going to be [an] overnight success, it just took us 15 years to get here,” Vogel joked.
He added when he launched his mobile grooming truck 14 years ago, the primary goal was to establish brick-and-mortar locations, but found the concept hard to scale due to the difficulty finding groomers that can perform 100+ breed-specific cuts.
The fix he came up with was to get rid of breed-specific haircuts altogether. He said with this change, he’s able to train a trimmer in about two to three months. Each Scenthound employs about seven people, he said.
Paid memberships is other innovation he credits for Scenthound’s success so far. Dog owners can pay a $25 flat rate for a monthly cleaning that includes a bath and nail clipping. The payments come through automatically, which helps retain customers, he said.
“I don’t think people are really cleaning their own cars anymore [or] cleaning their own pools,” Vogel said. “People come in because they just want a clean dog and they don’t know how to clip their own nails.”
Scenthound locations tend to be 1,000 to 1,200 square feet each. Units do best at in-line shopping centers anchored by grocery stores, he said. The most important part is that they are in “errand-intensive centers.” This allows customers to drop off their dogs while running other errands.
The first Boca Raton franchised location is planned for a Publix-anchored shopping center, while the Palm Beach Gardens Scenthound will open in a Trader Joe’s-anchored center.
The turn-around time for each new store is about two to three months, he said.
The franchising fee is $49,900 with the total estimated cost per location being between $205,000 and $379,000.
Since he established Scenthound in 2015, there have been no store closures, Vogel said. He continues to run his mobile pet grooming business Pet Groomerie, which has four trucks.