Retail Zoo and a Culture of Growth: One Franchise Partner at a Time

An ever-growing trend in the franchise sector is to see a number of successful single-brand operators creating a “stable” of brands under the one broad management structure.

Salsas Chadstone

Taking their expertise and success in their single brand also allows them to enjoy efficiencies in many aspects of the business that would not otherwise have been possible for a brand on its own.

'Brand Stable' Stragegy

Retail Zoo is a perfect example of this “brand stable” strategy in action as the parent company of three successful Australian franchise systems — CIBO Espresso, Boost Juice Bars and Salsa’s Fresh Mex. Franchise Buyer recently caught up with their Global Business Development Manager, Olivia Elsley, about how the franchise system works. 

Although Boost Juice Bars, CIBO Espresso and Salsa’sFresh Mex are all individual franchise brands, they all fall under the RetailZoo banner, with many of the resources shared among the three businesses. Of course, the most well-known brand amongst the stable is Boost Juice Bars, with the inspirational founder and entrepreneur Janine Allis still very much involved with all three brands.

Areas such as leasing and shop fitting for all brands are taken care of by Retail Zoo, while each brand has its own general manager and marketing team. “The whole back of house is run in silos to ensure the integrity of them as individual brands to the marketplace,” Olivia says. As if looking after three franchise brands does not keep the team at Retail Zoo busy, Olivia says they are always on the lookout for suitable brands to acquire. 

“As a multi-brand management company, we are always looking for opportunities,” she says. “We are always looking in the food retail niche, but the opportunities need to be the right ones so that they are the right fit for our entire business. ”Retail Zoo is not only looking to expand through acquiring other brands but it is also looking to grow through its existing franchisees.

“Our number one challenge is selecting the right franchise business partners to maintain the original culture of the brand from when it commenced and having new partners become  that culture and keep up the intensity and energy levels, ”Olivia says.

She adds, “When a franchise brand starts and customers love it, they then want to multiply it to experience that brand in many other locations. The challenge is keeping the authenticity of the brand and maintaining this, as you add new sites and new franchise business partners into the business.”


“Our goal is to grow the core business, which is the single franchise business of the single store owner. This is our key focus in all that we do, as that success then leads to the single storeowner becoming a multi-storeowner, which means the brand continues to grow.”

“A lot of brands measure success in store number growth. The goal of Retail Zoo is to have franchisees making more money in more sites of their business and not growing RetailZoo at the expense of the franchise business partner.” 

“It was a foundation principle of Boost to be very partner focused and this has not changed, and in my experience, this is a refreshing approach in the industry.” Remaining competitive is about staying ahead of the game, according the Olivia, who says Retail Zoo is investigating new ways of delivering its offerings to its customers. “We are certainly looking at ways to make it easy for customers to utilise our brands through the digital space,” she says.“The challenge is always getting customers to utilise digital contact with shopfronts as an impulse. We are working on new technology, which is all about making it easy for customers to interact with us and not be at the shopfront but having the product ready for them when they want it, recognising your customers and being aware when they arrive in the proximity of your store.

As far as where the three Retail Zoo brands are expanding, Olivia was quite clear. “Some may not realise that Boost still has a lot of new store growth in regional and metropolitan stores, so this is an area we are focused on. As for CIBO and Salsa’s, we have a broader national expansion strategy in place for both brands.”

“We are employing a lot of data to site selection, so we are able to see and articulate a lot more opportunities. I am firm in the belief that the future of location expansion in the franchise sector is all data-driven, so this is something to be on the look out for when considering location opportunities in any type of business and from any franchise system.”