Case Detail

Case Summary

Jennifer Strom-Simonte: Growing Belly Dance Maternity Through Franchising

Case Number: 5-309-507, Year Published: 2010

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Authors: Pat Vaccaro; Scott Whitaker

Key Concepts

Franchising, Franchise, Franchisor, Franchisee, Business Plan, Franchise Rights, Retail, Fashion, Founder, High Growth, Private Label, International Franchise Association, Franchise Systems


Jennifer Strom-Simonte needed to decide whether high growth through franchising would work for her six-year-old venture, Belly Dance Maternity, a brick-and-mortar and online women’s clothing boutique targeted at 24 to 35-year-old women who wanted to continue dressing fashionably during their pregnancies. Since Belly Dance Maternity’s fashions had been featured in several Chicago and New York City magazines, Simonte had been approached by several people interested in buying franchise rights from her.. Simonte investigated the merits and risks of franchising her business and found that as of 2005 franchising revenues contributed toward 11% of U.S. GDP and employed 15% of U.S. workers. Should she embark on establishing Belly Dance Maternity as a franchisor, she would be required to systematize and document all aspects of the company’s operations. Included in the case is pro forma financial information on a typical Belly Dance store, comparable information from a public company specializing in maternity retail, and FAQs written by a franchisor to an audience of potential franchisees. This case is an introduction to franchising.

Learning Objectives

  • Determine the relevant issues in selecting franchising as the appropriate growth strategy for an entrepreneurial venture
  • Learn the current state of the franchising industry in the United States 
  • Examine the benefits and weaknesses of franchising a business concept
  • Articulate the financial implications of franchising compared to alternative growth strategies
  • Number of Pages: 14

    Extended Case Information

    Teaching Areas: Entrepreneurship, Finance

    Geographic: New York City and Chicago, Illinois, United States

    Industry: Retail, Fashion

    Organization Size: Small

    Decision Maker Position: CEO/Founder

    Decision Maker Gender: Female

    Year of Case: 2008