Personal waxing company LunchboxWax is on the hunt for real estate in the Orlando area to help franchisees open eight wax salons this year.
“Florida is one of the fastest growing states in the country. The Orlando area is a really exciting market,” LunchboxWax Chief Operating Officer Christo Demetriades told GrowthSpotter.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its challenges, more real estate is becoming available, Demetriades said. “Finding real estate was getting tougher and tougher” before the pandemic, he said. Now, A-class real estate is opening up at good prices.
LunchboxWax, founded in Boise, Idaho, 10 years ago by CEO Debi Lane, is a wax-only salon company focused on a soft-wax process with eco-friendly products and an inclusive environment for all people however they identify, Demetriades said. The company opened its 50th salon this week with 80 new ones sold and a growth plan for many more.
“Florida could easily house 50-60 sites. We’re just at the birth,” he said. LunchboxWax recently sold a three-salon package in Miami, explaining that most franchise owners buy three and five salons at a time. Currently there are franchises operating in Sarasota and in Tampa and has interest from potential franchisees in Naples and the Florida Panhandle.
The company is targeting the following submarkets in greater Orlando: Winter Park, Winter Garden, Altamonte Springs, Waterford Lakes, Lake Nona and Doctor Philips.
LunchboxWax looks for property to rent that is typically about 1,400 square feet to build five service suites, Demetriades said. In 2019, the company’s five-room salons averaged $850,000 of Accumulated Unit Value in a growing industry.
The market size, measured by revenue, of the personal waxing and nail salons industry is expected to increase 5.8% to $18.7 billion this year, according to IbisWorld. The industry has been increasing faster than the consumer goods and services sector overall.
“It is a necessity product,” Demetriades said. “The hair grows back every 2-3 weeks whether you like it or not.” Thus, he said, the salons have an average client retention rate of 91%.
LunchboxWax franchisees spend about $350,000 to open a new salon, he said. That includes franchise fees, about $150,000 on construction and $50,000 on furniture and fixtures. The company’s goal is to help franchise owners open salons in 90 to 120 days after signing a lease.
To accomplish the shortest turnaround time, “we’re always looking for real estate. We’re always trying to stay ahead of real estate,” Demetriades said.
The company likes locations in centers that are grocery anchored with five to seven service-related stores in communities with 70,000 or more people in a 10-mile radius. “But we’ve done exceptionally well in small towns and smaller areas. We’re not scared to go into smaller places,” he said.
“We love to be near a Starbucks. we love to be near an Orange Theory. We love to be near a yoga studio – any service industry – a nail bar.”
LunchboxWax is ranked 493 in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2021 Franchise 500 list, behind Waxing the City ranked 236, which has 119 salons and European Wax Center ranked 49th with 775 salons.