Edible Arrangements®, the pioneer and leader in hand-sculpted, fresh fruit arrangements, has selected Direct Capital®, a national direct lender, as the exclusive preferred finance company for the brand. The expanded lending program was developed in response to capital needs to support growth initiatives in 2010 and beyond, and will be used for single and multi-unit development of new stores, store remodels and equipment purchases.
This announcement comes on the heels of Direct Capital’s expansion of their franchise lending unit after securing $100 million from Key National Finance and other conduits and banks in April, and renewing an additional $100 million line from DZ Bank. They have been one of the few, if not the only, specialty finance companies over the last 9 months to secure new capital.
“During a time when it is difficult for franchisees to obtain financing, we’ve expanded our franchise division to better support the industry and help successful brands, like Edible Arrangements®, continue to grow,” said Robyn Gault, Direct Capital’s Director of Strategic Accounts. “The retreat of many lenders from the market has left franchisees with limited options and has driven forward thinking franchisors like EAI to secure relationships that will keep capital flowing through their systems.”
Currently, Edible Arrangements has 929 locations with the goal to reach 1,000 units by 2010. Most recently, the company announced the launch of its new “core and station” store enterprise development program and the company’s evolution into multi-unit franchising. A central component of the new strategy is Frutation by Edible Arrangements, a grab-and-go concept offering customers fresh-fruit smoothies and juices, fruit and green salads, dipped fruit and a variety of other fresh-fruit products.
The Direct Capital program in conjunction with Farid Capital, a secondary source set up by Tariq and Kamran Farid, to provide finance options to franchisees who do not meet the underwriting criteria of the DCC program, will help fuel franchise growth by new and existing franchisees. “During a recession it’s crucial for franchisees to have access to capital to grow. We are excited to work with Direct Capital to help our brand expand and prosper during these tough economic times,” said Tariq Farid, CEO and Founder, Edible Arrangements, Inc. “We are committed to increasing our footprint into new and existing markets around the world. The combination of this partnership and the launch of Farid Capital Corporation are key ingredients to developing the brand across the globe.”
Tariq Farid, recently the recipient of two Entrepreneur of the Year awards from the International Franchise Association and Ernst & Young in Metro New York, developed and launched Edible Arrangements in 1999 in East Haven, CT, after many years in the floral industry. He learned early that corporate support can make the difference between a struggling or thriving franchise. It is for this reason that Edible Arrangements offers its franchisees comprehensive corporate and onsite level training, unparalleled technology, national brand recognition, extensive support and now, financing.
Photo credit goes to muffet1 at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1345290