Step 2: Opening a New Franchise

Why Learning Express?

In franchising, it’s all about support and community. Learn below how we support our store owners, work together, and maintain the nation’s best curated mix of specialty toy and gift products.

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Why learning express?

Our Support

New Learning Express franchisees typically have no retail management or business ownership experience, but our comprehensive Training & Support Program helps you open your Learning Express franchise efficiently and effectively. The Program starts well before you attend Home Office Training and months before we spend the three to four weeks in your store training you and your team.

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State-of-the-art demographic analysis tools help us advise you in selecting the right area to start your real estate search.

learning express toy store


Location is critical. Our in-house real estate team will advise you in selecting the right location and negotiating the best business terms for your lease.

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Store Design

Brightly-colored walls, natural floors, and a clean fixture design create a warm, inviting shopping experience and define the signature of the Learning Express aesthetic. We handle all the details so you can concentrate on opening your new business.

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Fill out some credit apps. That’s all you need to do before getting access to the nation’s best curated selection of specialty toys at special terms from approximately 200 different vendors, large and small. Our New Store Order (NSO) is as good as it gets.

grand opening flyer learning express

Grand Opening Marketing

Get the word out! Our marketing department analyzes past performance to advise you in the most effective advertising channels and will help design and implement your marketing plan across print, digital and community-based media.

grand opening learning express ribbon cutting ceremony

On-Site Grand Opening Support

After you complete your classroom training, we support you through your opening for three weeks, making sure that your inventory has been received and merchandised, and ensuring that you and your staff are comfortable with the day-to-day fundamentals of running your business.

Ongoing Support

Your Grand Opening is an exhilarating experience, but there is more to do to grow your business, and we are with you all the way.

We offer ongoing training and support that’s designed to help take your business to the next level. Additional first-year classroom training, webinars, phone calls, and visits from in-field support experts will give you the knowledge and confidence to grow your business.


An exciting marketing program is key to retail sales growth. Our in-house graphics department not only designs all of the materials for your Grand Opening, they produce ads, banners, email graphics, postcards, and catalogs that are available on our Intranet. On request, they also provide customized materials for your local needs. Social media is very important in today’s retail environment, so we train you to provide effective, engaging content for your customers.

marketing example sign
marketing example two email
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Excellence in Marketing

Our dedicated in-house marketing and graphics teams help you promote your location through print, email and social media.

Buying & Inventory Management

The perfect product mix is important at Grand Opening to wow customers but it also needs to remain fresh, unique, and up to date to keep them coming back. Our buyers work full-time sourcing new product, negotiating vendor terms, and monitoring market trends to make sure the right products with the best terms in the industry are included in our buying program.

sales reports on computer

Item Sales Reports

System-wide data feeds our private intranet, which gives owners insights into what’s hot and what’s not.

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Open to Buy

Our “Open to Buy” tool can help owners manage cash flow more effectively.

vendor information on computer

Vendor Information

Best-selling product, contact information and terms are easily accessible and updated regularly by our buying department. You’ll have a team of experts at your side.

learning express corporate headquarters

Home Office Support

We provide you hundreds of configurable reports, analyses, graphs and Excel formulas, but really it’s nice to know that you can just pick up the phone and ask an expert.

Our Community

Our franchisees communicate daily, sharing new product successes and ideas for effective in-store events, asking for and giving advice, and sharing solutions to problems. The shared entrepreneurial spirit of our owners strengthens each individual franchisee.

Learning express achievement program LEAP

Idea Sharing

The Learning Express Achievement Program (LEAP) is one of the best ways that our stores share and learn about hot-selling product and best business practices nationwide. Available 24/7 on our intranet or in periodic digests.

learning express convention

Learning Express Convention

Our private annual gathering of storeowners, vendors and the Home Office provides a perfect way for franchisees to socialize, share, and build relationships. We teach training workshops, invite inspiring keynote speakers and host over 100 vendor booths, so franchisees can place orders at convention-only terms. Learn more about our convention.

toy fair new york city javits center

Toy Fair

We kick off each year with a February visit to New York City. Toy vendors from around the world show off their newest and greatest inventions. Our private “Share the Fair” discussion group provides franchisees a jump-start on potentially hot-selling product.

learning express storeowner community on facebook

Help at Your Fingertips

We don’t stop at official meetings or communications to spread ideas and best practices. Franchisees communicate daily through a private email network, Facebook group, text messages, conference calls, and even FaceTime.

Step 3 of 4: Investment & financial requirements

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