Franchisee finds silver lining in company's end
Todd Crosby, who operated the Tan & Tone America in Stillwater, said business has doubled since he rebranded and distanced himself from the now defunct chain.
STILLWATER — In the days after Tan & Tone America abruptly shuttered all its metro area locations in July, franchisee Todd Crosby received hundreds of phone calls a day from irate customers.
Videoview all videos
Jan 25Todd Crosby, owner of Tan & Tone Unlimited in Stillwater,...
Photoview all 9 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
Many of them found out the tanning and fitness chain had gone under by reading a note taped to the business's doors. Eleven locations were abandoned, calls to the corporate headquarters went unanswered.
But Crosby remained open. He explained to disgruntled customers that he would honor their memberships, coupons and unused gift certificates, but being an hour drive from Oklahoma City, most declined.
“It had a huge effect on my business the first few weeks,” Crosby said. “I had people actually drive from Oklahoma City and demand money from me.”
Crosby rebranded his location, changed the name to Tan & Tone Unlimited and began an advertising campaign to distance himself from the defunct chain. He said he also paid a $5,000 penalty for operating one day without a license during the transition.
But once the dust settled, business doubled.
Crosby had wanted to leave the franchise and become independent before, but was deterred by the fee he'd have to pay to leave the company. On his own, he implemented new policies, such as semester-long memberships that cater to his college student clientele, instead of the longer-term deals required by his former corporate parent.
He added the ability to process credit cards. Plus, he's no longer on the hook for a franchise fee.
“Everything has been a lot easier for us to operate ...,” Crosby said.
Business Photo Galleriesview all
- 33223Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15512Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 9978Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 9860Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 9472Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 8063Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 8003Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister