Firehouse Subs finished 2012 by hitting milestone
One million subs sold in a week.
That was a goal Firehouse Subs founders Chris and Rob Sorensen set at the beginning of 2012 — and with one week left last year, the two found out the company accomplished it during the second to last week of the year.
One factor that helped Firehouse reach the sales goal was adding 98 stores in 2012, according to Robin Sorensen.
He may not like that the company came up two new stores short of opening 100 last year, but he said he was proud of the company for reaching the one million mark.
"We have analysts watching trends and the product mix daily, but the one million sold mark is something we have been watching for the last couple of years, and it was a great accomplishment for the company," he said.
The sub shop that was founded with one store in 1994 by two firefighter brothers has grown to 581 stores across 32 states and Puerto Rico.
Firehouse continues to break its own records, as the 98 new stores in 2012 were preceded by 85 new stores in 2011, which at the time was a company record.
"Firehouse Subs has been a fabulous story for Jacksonville. They have been so aggressive in building their company and building their corporate headquarters in the city," said Jerry Mallot, JAXUSA Partnership president and JAX Chamber interim president.
"It's really exciting when a couple of local guys, former firemen, can find a market niche and fill it so effectively and operate so effectively in our community," said Mallot.
The company has no plans of slowing down as it strives to meet its goal of 2,000 stores by 2020.
"The two factors that allowed us to meet the million mark were the new stores that we opened and a lot of radio advertising across our system," said Robin Sorensen.
The expansion of stores also might lead to a further expansion outside the U.S. The company analyzed opening stores in Brazil last year, but decided against it.
"Brazil is on the backburner right now," said Sorenson.
Company officials are currently reviewing opportunities in Mexico and Canada.
"We are analyzing what it will be like to do business there. Depending on the results of that analysis, we could be in one of those areas by the end of the year," said Sorensen.
The Firehouse Subs website displays franchisee opportunities in every U.S. state and area representative opportunities in the Pacific Northwest, Central California and Connecticut. Area representatives are the liaison between the franchisees and corporate headquarters.
The company is planning on another record-breaking year after jumping from $285 million in sales in 2011 to $385 million in 2012.
"If all goes as planned, we should break $500 million in 2013," Sorensen said.