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Ex-Robin Hood Owner: 'Franchise' Possibility For New Retail Format

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

Robin Hood’s former owner says a major European multinational retailer is interested in franchising his latest shopping concept throughout the developing world.

While declining to name the retailer involved, Sandy Schaefer said it had already helped him establish Everything Must Go!!! by providing assistance with its point-of-sale system, inventory controls, control systems and marketing.

“One of the world’s largest retailers has taken such an interest in what we’re doing that they may well be willing to work with us to franchise this concept throughout the world,” Mr Schaefer told Tribune Business.

He added that the retailer was interested in exploring the possibility of ‘scaling up’ the Everything Must Go concept, with the focus on developing countries who have “needs that need to be fulfilled the most”.

Tribune Business revealed last week how Everything Must Go represents Mr Schaefer’s bid to ‘rise from the ashes’ of the failure of his two-store Robin Hood venture, which closed down some two-and-a-half years ago.

Everything Must Go is set to open at the former Robin Hood store on Prince Charles Drive on November 27.

The venture, which will employ 35 staff, is Mr Schaefer’s answer to 24/7 retailing.

He explained that Everything Must Go’s strategy is founded on being open just three days a week, thereby enabling him to control key costs - labour and utilities - and minimise inventory shrinkage and theft.

To create the ‘buy now’ impulse, the store will, after opening on the Thursday, drop its prices by 10-15 per cent on Friday and then, on Saturday, drop throughout the day until inventory is completely clear.

Pledging between 10 per cent to 50 per cent price savings, via innovative sourcing and buying strategies, Mr Schaefer told Tribune Business that Everything Must Go is being established as a ‘Value-Added Tax free zone’.

Emphasising that this does not mean VAT evasion, Mr Schaefer said the goal was for his business to exploit its greater margins by absorbing the tax itself, rather than passing it on to consumers.

Mr Schaefer said Everything Must Go’s dairy, meat and perishables products would be sold via an outdoor ‘Farmer’s Market’. Produce will be sold from containers, in a bid to reduce utility and operational expenses, and therefore boost margins.

The ex-Robin Hood owner added that his new format would again look to utilise the 40,000 gallon per day reverse osmosis plant that had been left at the site by its previous owner, Pepsi Cola.

Mr Schaefer said the retailer planned to offer consumers a free five-gallon bottle with every $25 purchase, meaning that a $150 spend per week would entitle a customer to six free bottles or some 130 gallons.

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