SPRINGFIELD, IL — Get & Go Express is set to announce the formal rollout of its franchising program for outdoor vending kiosks during the National Automatic Merchandising Association 2005 Expo in Atlanta, GA. The program rolled out on October 27.
Jeff Parsons, founder and chief operating officer of Get & Go Express, has been conducting trials of the concept in Springfield since last September (see VT, February). The original site has been joined by two others, and 11 are in the works, he explained.
“Get & Go Express” is a bank of vending machines, primarily cold beverage and snack types, and a proprietary all-weather building that houses them. The enclosure is easy to move and does not require permanent anchoring. It appeals to customers because the machines are accessible 24 hours a day, and purchases can be made much more quickly than the average manual transaction.
“We’ve done extensive testing of the model,” Parsons told VT. By experimenting with different machines and product menus, the company boosted overall sales by 60%, and also has developed a loyal customer base, he explained. “We needed to learn whether people really would buy from us,” Parson observed. “And they will. It’s so convenient.”
Get & Go presently has equipped the two highest-traffic machines at its primary site with USA Technologies’ credit-card transaction processing system, the company founder added, and they have enjoyed a a 10% sales lift in consequence. The site also is supported by a Cantaloupe Systems “Seed” telemetry system to monitor machine inventory, and is protected by Web-based video surveillance.
As expected, snacks and cold drinks have proven to be the most popular items offered by “Get & Go Express,” and the company has had success with 24-fl.oz. bottles. Another interesting discovery is that patrons enjoy access to skill cranes (“our average player is 35 years old,” Parsons reported), and that novelty jewelry and toys sell surprising well as selections in glassfront machines.
The “Get & Go Express” franchise program will offer comprehensive assistance with site selection and local zoning and other permits. A standard installation can be either a “primary unit,” a 40x8-ft. steel structure housing up to 45 vending machines and providing climate-controlled product storage, or a “Satellite Unit” that can accommodate machines. Both structures are easy to set up and dismantle, since they need not be anchored to permanent foundations.
The company will share its findings with franchisees, and will train them in professional product purchasing practices and equipment stocking and servicing. Parsons noted that the company is well on its way to complying with the specific franchising requirements of the several states. Fifteen states have detailed franchise investment laws; the others simply require full disclosure in conformity to Federal Trade Commission rules. Get & Go is targeting Illinois and Florida as the first states in which franchises will be offered.
The concept will be explained at Get & Go’s exhibit in Booth 1446 at the NAMA National Expo in Atlanta. The company is headquartered at 308 Browning Rd., Springfield, IL62707, tel. (217) 528-2639, fax 217-528-2803. It maintains a website at getandgoexpress.com.