The company will add 10–20 new locations this year
Fast-Fix, the Boca Raton, Fla.–based jewelry retailer and servicer, will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. But new CEO Gerry Weber is breathing new life into the veteran brand, which currently operates more than 150 kiosks and mall stores in the U.S. and Europe.
Weber was initially brought on as an auditing consultant at Fast-Fix—but the executive, who has an extensive background in corporate and franchise operations management, says he instantly saw the company’s growth potential.
He signed on as chief executive and brought back the company’s founder, Mark Goldstein, to help spearhead growth. The retailer plans to open 10–20 new kiosk or in-line mall units this year in major U.S. markets including Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Jacksonville, Fla.; St. Louis; Boston; Pittsburgh; Raleigh, N.C.; and Seattle.
We caught up with Weber to get the skinny on why he said “yes” and where Fast-Fix is headed in the coming years.
When you were hired to do an audit at Fast-Fix, what did you find out that made you want to eventually become the CEO? What’s special about the company?
Two things. First was the level of enthusiasm for the business that was communicated to me by the 40-plus franchisees that I interviewed. Second was the growth opportunity, with so much of the U.S. and all of Canada being wide open for development. Of our 150-plus locations, 50 are in California, 25 in Florida, 15 in Texas, and 10 in Arizona. That leaves 50-plus locations spread throughout a handful of other states.
How do you view the repair business in the context of the larger jewelry industry?
The jewelry and watch repair business is vibrant. We provide a solution to our customers’ problems, be it ring resizing, stone resetting, watch repairs, watch-battery replacement, engraving services, eyeglass-frame repair, cellphone screen replacement, etc. With many traditional jewelry stores not providing many of these services, we fill a need in the marketplace. We have wonderful working relationships with the jewelery stores and department store jewelry departments in the malls we operate in.
What are the big opportunities for a business such as yours?
Growth, both through existing franchisees opening additional locations and through new franchisees coming into the system. We are also exploring nontraditional locations.
How has bringing back founder Mark Goldstein bettered the company?
Mark Goldstein founded the company 30 years ago. He reminds us that service is at the core of our business. He also brings his passion for the business, which is felt by all of our prospective franchisees.
Who is your customer base? Why do you think they come to Fast-Fix instead of somewhere else local?
Our customer is anyone in need of any of our services. It cuts through traditional demographic profiling. We, because of our locations, are convenient for our customers. We also provide most services while the customer waits. There is a trust factor that has built up over the past 30 years. Our customers know that we provide them with exceptional service and quality in all of the work that we perform for them.
(Photos courtesy of Fast-Fix)