In august 2008, Mrs. Fields well known Brands – the parent agency of cookie chain Mrs. Fields and also frozen yogurt chain TCBY – filed because that bankruptcy. Mall website traffic was declining. The frozen yogurt sector was overrun with brand-new competitors. The end seemed near.

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But in which method in the previous year, renowned Brands" franchise unit growth doubled. Next year, the is meant to twin again. COO David Bloom calls the a "renaissance" because that Mrs. Fields, which opened its first store in 1977, and also TCBY, established in 1981.


What happened? The two chains uncovered found the crucial to a brand-new era of famed Brands: cashing in on every other"s strengths.

Famous Brands freshly announced that, together of June, it would practically exclusively be arising dual-branded Mrs. Fields/TCBY locations, complying with successful tests by franchisees. Franchisees who increased to offer both TCBY and Mrs. Fields reportedly quickly doubled your profits, with tiny increase in franchise fees, occupancy costs or staffing.

"From a company standpoint, it really significantly readjusted our model," states Bloom. "In warm weather, we eight on the TCBY side, while Mrs. Fields is a little bit softer, and also vice versa. So, when we placed those two brands together, we took the seasonality out and were liven year-round."


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Beyond balancing each other out, the two brands together are much more than the amount of your parts. Mrs. Areas has traditionally been a food-court mainstay, and struggled as foot traffic in malls has plummeted in recent years. Meanwhile, TCBY was slow-moving to adapt to a frozen-yogurt market that has adopted chains such together Pinkberry and also Red Mango, which market unconventional flavors, healthy and balanced toppings and a model that allows customers serve themselves.

When the two combine, Mrs. Fields has the chance to venture out the the mall and also TCBY has actually a mystery ingredient – fresh cookies – that various other fro-yo chains lack.

"It"s one of those concepts that simply resonates through people, like milk and also cookies," claims Bloom. "It doesn"t take a lot come convince people it"s a an excellent idea."


While both chains struggled to find prime places to open Mrs. Fields and also TCBY individually, the twin branded locations sparked landlords" interest. This year the firm opened 85 new stores in the U.S., plus 35 worldwide – twice the number it opened the year before. Next year, Bloom states the agency is feather to double the number again.

While double branding has actually been key in Mrs. Fields and TCBY"s comeback, the brand-new locations actually market three streams that revenue: sales indigenous cookies and also frozen yogurt, add to gift was in the type of Mrs. Areas Gifting Stations.

Famous Brands started testing gifting stations in Hong Kong 2 years ago. Mrs. Fields stores that market the service dedicate about fifty percent of their square clip to gift products, such as cookies, brownies and also popcorn, and also ordering kiosks that permit customers customize and ship gifts anywhere in the world. In the last year, Mrs. Fields" gift merchandise, i beg your pardon is specifically popular for providers sending presents for this firm holidays, profession shows and business conferences, lugged in $50 million.

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Gifting train station at new Mrs. Fields/TCBY locations enable Famous brands to introduce a brand-new kind of franchise that brings ecommerce into the kingdom of franchisees. Many franchises, specifically in the food industry, have focused on technology as a method to get customers right into their stores, v coupons and also deals, or to rate up business, v online and also digital ordering. With gifting stations built into most brand-new franchises, franchisees have the chance to add an entirely different form of revenue to your stores.

"Putting ecommerce right into a brick-and-mortar organization is rather the divine grail in exactly how you maximize the return on invest for franchisees and also brands," states Bloom.

The roadway to renaissance started at famous Brands" shortest point, once the firm declared bankruptcy in 2008 – and also then directly avoided advertising bankruptcy again in 2011. In December 2011, renowned Brands ceded control that the agency to creditor Z Capital and also The Carlyle Group. In July 2013, Z resources bought the end The Carlyle team to end up being the single owner of well known Brands. That"s when, follow to Bloom, points finally began to click.

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" knew they had an excellent brands, and they knew that if done properly it can be successful," states Bloom. "So they took a year and a half, two years to obtain a brand-new senior monitoring team in place and also start putting these strategies out there and also testing them."

With the new twin branded franchises and an exploding ecommerce business, Mrs. Field"s and also TCBY"s strategies are ultimately going from experimentation stages to major changes.

"Now, we"re in somewhat of a renaissance, i think," claims Bloom. "It"s going come be an extremely interesting. Yes, the brands, ns think, shed some relevance in the last couple of years, yet in the last pair years began to ramp up. Now, it"s just exploding."