Longtime Atlanta-Based Dealer Feels the Heat from Franchise Competition

June 5th, 2024 by Casey Flores

Chris Robinson, owner of the Tint Guy, operates two Atlanta-area locations—one in Kennesaw, and one in Woodstock, Georgia. Robinson is a staple in the window film industry, having been a featured speaker at multiple industry-wide events and moderating an online window film forum. He’s been named a regional dealer-of-the-year for 3M multiple times.

Managing 16 employees across two locations is a heavy enough lift, but now there’s something else in his headspace—new competition.

When Oklahoma City-based Turbo Tint opened a franchise just a half-mile from his Kennesaw shop, he didn’t think too much of it.

“The first thing that I thought is that it’s not like there are empty buildings everywhere,” Robinson admits.

The distance between The Tint Guy Kennesaw and Turbo Tint’s first Atlanta location is .5 miles.

But when he got news from one of his sales representatives that another Turbo Tint location would be opening in the region—this time less than a half-mile from his Woodstock, Georgia location, he had suspicions.

“If I was looking to open up a business in a town, I wouldn’t want to put it next to the most established and largest business,” he says. “It could just be that the owners live there, but with a population of more than 6 million and seven counties, their first two stores are within a mile of my two stores. Coincidence? No way.”

Turbo Tint’s franchise page lists three types of markets: Available, Limited and Unavailable. In their ideal candidate description, it says he or she would “look to scale quickly by being an area developer or opening 3-5 locations.”

It lists the following markets as “Sold Out” on its FAQ page: Orlando, Delray Beach, Pompano Beach and Sarasota, Florida, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and North Dallas (Frisco & McKinney).

The Atlanta metro is among the fastest-growing in the nation and Robinson’s shop locations are in regions where homes tend to sell for $600,000 or more, he says.

“It’s not like we live in the only area that’s booming but our area is saturated by window tint companies,” he explains, noting that 85% of his customers come from within a 15-mile radius of his two shops.

The distance from the soon-to-open Turbo Tint and The Tint Guy’s Woodstock location is less than half a mile.

With the existing and incoming stores, Robinson knows to step his game up.

“You don’t really see the Kennesaw store from the main road and the Turbo Tint you can see,” he says—so he plans to invest heavily into advertising on which he already spends 5 to 10% of his gross revenues for exposure via social media, Google Ads and even merch.

He may even compete with his new neighbors in a whole new way—by becoming a franchise himself. It’s been a longtime thought of his growth strategy.

“Other than the thought of selling the business for millions of dollars and retiring in the Bahamas, franchising was always seen as the next growth vertical,” he explains, and with Turbo Tint opening in his backyard, “the thought of franchising has become a higher priority. It may be the next move in my career.

Atlanta is indeed saturated not just with individual tint shops but franchises as well. Window Film magazine’s franchise map shows it’s the only metropolitan area with all of the map participants in the region.

Robinson says he hasn’t felt any loss of business from the existing franchise location near his one shop but is constantly monitoring his business’s trends.

This article is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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