BVM August, 2016 - page 68

68 Business View Magazine - August 2016
what we’ve built.’ And they can see that this particular
ten or fifteen-pack of stores, works. And that’s some-
thing that is important to us – to be in sync with the
folks that are doing what they bought into. That’s how
it’s going to make our system and our brand, better.”
Bob Thatcher is the company’s new Director of Fran-
chising and Real Estate Development, having come
to Ben’s Soft Pretzels with 25 years in the commer-
cial real estate business with a focus on enclosed,
regional shopping centers. He’s very bullish on Ben’s
expansion into new markets, as well as the company’s
willingness to commit capital and talent into an ever-
expanding territorial footprint.
“We’ve all grown up visiting regional malls around the
country and the reality is that the customer has be-
come very bored with the homogenization of chain re-
tail,” he says. “Every mall is basically the same – same
brands, same merchandise, same overall experience.
And with the advent of the internet and so many dra-
matic changes in the retailers, themselves, the focus of
the mall industry - owners, managers, and developers
– has really been to change the model and enhance
it. And Ben’s fits that bill in a remarkable way, with a
new, exciting brand and, above all, a fantastic product
with highly loyal, even fanatic, customers who drive
traffic into those shopping centers, ultimately support-
ing other retail, as well. Meijer and Wal-Mart recognize
that their customers will come to their stores, spend a
hundred dollars on general merchandise, frankly, just
to also get a Ben’s pretzel to take home or take back
to the office. So that is tremendous with respect to be-
ing an up-and-coming retail brand and product in the
Another strategic partnership that the company has
established this past year has been its membership
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