Originally published May 13, 2009 [EDITOR’S NOTE: This Page is being recreated. Some Links may not be yet be operable]
Children’s Orchard is a chain of franchised resale shops that buy and sell children’s clothing, furniture, and toys. It was founded in 1980 and, in 2004, was acquired by current CEO Taylor Bond and a group of investors.
According to The Orchard Cooperative website: “Since 2004 when Mr. Bond took charge, 23 new stores have opened, more than twice that number, 49, have closed… More than a third of those that closed their doors during Bond’s reign had opened their doors during his reign as well. Their time was short. Each… lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. As if that’s not enough, the franchise invariably and aggressively pursues these owners demanding that they pay them royalties and ad fees for the balance of the ten year franchise period.”
CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: Customer Buys Newburyport Franchise July 24, 2009
CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: A Happy Franchisee? July 16, 2009
CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: Competitor WinMark is Thriving June 6, 2009
CHILDREN’S ORCHARD & Taylor Bond: A Franchise Mystery
CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: Unhappy Franchisees Launch Site
CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: New Site Exposes Blight (Franchise Pick)
Children’s Orchard Website (The Bizop News)
Children’s Orchard: Hyped to the Core? (Franchise Pick)
40 Responses to “CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: Overview & Links” So Far. Add yours below.
- CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: New Site Exposes Blight : Franchise Pick – Picking the Perfect Franchiseon May 14th, 2009 6:38 am[…] CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: Overview & Links […]
- Children’s Orchard: Hyped to the Core? : Franchise Pick – Picking the Perfect Franchiseon May 14th, 2009 6:44 am[…] a quick example, Webster quotes a past interview with Children’s Orchard CEO Taylor Bond that appeared on franchise advertising portal Franchise Gator. Regarding the […]
- Guest on May 17th, 2009 12:30 pmIf you are a stakeholder in this franchise system, or think you might want to purchase one, then sit down and read this thing carefully and take notes. Don’t be sheeple about this and think that just because someone is a business owner, they are exempt from predatory practices. The contract sizzles with warnings and sirens blare on every page.
- ADMIN on May 31st, 2009 10:05 amCan anyone explain this lawsuit?
Children’s Orchard Inc v. Patricia Ann Childs et al
Plaintiff: Children’s Orchard Inc
Defendant: Patricia Ann Childs and Richard A Childs
Case Number: 8:2009mc00010
Filed: May 7, 2009
Court: California Central District Court
Office: Southern Division – Santa Ana Office [ Court Info ]
County: XX US, Outside California
Nature of Suit: Other Statutes – Other Statutory Actions
Cause: Civil Miscellaneous Case
Jurisdiction: Federal Question
- Guest on May 31st, 2009 11:01 amyep. A case of a stupid franchisee who stopped paying royality but didn’t stop using the trade name, marks or business system.
There are bad franchisees just as there are bad franchisors.
Actually, this case is both. Bad franchisee, bad franchisor.
- ADMIN on May 31st, 2009 2:47 pmA case of a stupid franchisee who stopped paying royality but didn’t stop using the trade name, marks or business system.
Is Patricia Ann Childs a member of The Orchard Cooperative independent franchisee association? Is her lawsuit related to the TOC website or their campaign?
My guess is no, as I would be surprised if the AAFD or franchisee attorneys counseling TOC wouldn’t have cautioned her that defaulting by withholding royalties but still using the name is a pretty foolish move. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
I did notice the Childs’ Tustin, CA store is no longer listed on the Children’s Orchard website.
- Guest on June 1st, 2009 9:53 amTo the best of my knowledge, this franchisee kept to herself, was not a member, is in no way associated with the TOC, the website or campaign, and would not accept advice from other franchisees.
BTW, corporate let her hang out there for just about two years before they lowered the boom, (as she had been booted off the CO website in 2007.)
- CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: A Failing Marriage? : Franchise Pick – Picking the Perfect Franchiseon June 10th, 2009 10:24 am[…] Children’s Orchard: One-time lovers become orch-enemies […]
- Guest on June 12th, 2009 1:20 pmHonestly how many lawsuits does Children’s Orchard have going on past and present? These people seem to be in court rather than trying to improve/grow their company and their franchisees. I have seen 4 so far filed this year, between the postings on this website alone. Beware prospective franchisees, this is obviously not a company you want to get mixed up in.
- Unhappy Franchisee: 10 Hottest Topics : Franchise Pick – Picking the Perfect Franchiseon June 13th, 2009 9:20 am[…] Children’s Orchard: Franchisees of a troubled chain started a negative website to get their franchisor’s attention. Unfortunately, the attention is coming in the form of lawsuits – four so far this year. […]
- Guest on June 16th, 2009 10:23 amIt makes it so difficult to describe to readers the “war” like siege franchisees are under.
This is not a case of sour grapes. I implore readers to please go back and read the franchisee agreement comparison posted on the TOC website. The tone and punitive dictates are just the tip of the iceberg.
While remarks posted in this forum about Children’s Orchard can be characterized as negative, I don’t think the TOC website has a negative tone. It is cut and dry.
But at the end of the day, it really does not matter. Taylor Bond is going to steam roll over anyone and everyone “to show the world” who is boss.
- CO Franchisee on June 16th, 2009 12:17 pmAs a CO franchisee I have to agree with the above statements by “Guest” posted on June 16th. The TOC website is not negative, it simply has compiled all the information and laid it out for all to see, one may draw their own conclusions from the information. However, anyone who is business minded in any sense of the word will see the negativity and absolute lucridity of how this franchisor runs things. HIs system would be growing (especially in this economy) and should have been growing since he took over.
- Grace on June 16th, 2009 1:17 pmSorry if I sound like a wet blanket, but this is what happens when folks fall in love with a concept and think the clauses in the franchise agreement don’t apply to them.
My advice to anyone thinking of signing a franchise agreement is to be sure you can live with the consequences of enforcement.
- CO Franchisee on June 16th, 2009 2:31 pmI agree with you Grace. However, the franchisor needs to also uphold his end of the contract, and in more than one case that I know I about, that has not happened. This franchisor has an expceptional way of making himself appear as those he is following the rules, when in reality it is the furthest from the truth. Obviously a franchisor has a few more resources at their disposal than a struggling franchisee. It is a sad state all around.
- Guest on June 18th, 2009 11:46 amDoes this franchisor acknowledge the TOC as the a franchisee organization at all? Don’t most franchisors encourage an oversight group of franchisees to confer with on issues and improvements? Why does this franchisor seem so intent on the franchisees not having a voice?
- Guest on June 18th, 2009 5:46 pmNo, this franchisor does not communicate nor acknowledge in anyway other than being negative, the TOC as an independent franchise association.
Yes, there is a franchisee oversight group under the watchful eye of this franchisor. He determines what topics and issues are valid and worthy of discussion.
He has pre-determined that giving the franchisees a voice, makes him look like a wimp and a loser. They don’t need a voice, it is his business, not the franchisees, and the franchisees must do what he says at all and every cost.
- visitor on June 21st, 2009 8:22 pmHe communicates alright..”see you in court.”
- Kris on June 22nd, 2009 12:38 pmOne of my family members opened a Children’s Orchard under the previous owners. They seemed to be nice people, but when this Taylor Bond guy took over, everything went downhill. They had to spend hundreads of dollars on new registers when the “old” ones worked just fine. The advertising packages were a lot more than the previous ones and he is very strict with what the stores look like. If one little thing is not the way he likes it, then you will experience the wrath of Mr. Bond! This new owner has cost my Dad thousands of dollars, most of his life savings and his “sanity”.
Taylor is a self indulgent business man that cares about nothing but numbers and money to make himself look better. He does not care about his business owners and will sue you for everything you have if you dont live up to his rules. If you are looking to buy into this franchise….run the other way! Dont get caught up like my Dad and countless other did!!!
- guest franchisee on June 22nd, 2009 11:28 pmSeems to be a trend, people in this franchise spend their life savings, every second of their time, and then end up in court with the guy who forced the situation in the first place.
- visitor on June 23rd, 2009 8:21 amHave to be honest here. It’s the contract. If you sign a Children’s Orchard franchise agreement, you better understand that the business model is faulty.
Just take a look at a most recent case of a franchisee in Las Vegas, who opened and closed within one year. This franchisee signed an agreement, did what was required, followed the instructions from corporate, and had their clock cleaned by the faulty business model and demand of fees.
Wiped out. Bankrupted. All in one year.
This rogue franchisor requires via the contract, that minimum royalty must be paid quarterly. What this means is that a wet-behind-the-ears franchisee comes out of the shoot with no room to grow. And heaven help them if their location takes a while to respond, because as in the case of the Las Vegas franchisee, they dumped all available cash flow into buying used inventory around the clock which backed them into a corner financially, and when they blinked, their checkbook was empty.
So what does this rogue franchisor do???? He cries but they signed my agreement, and they are bad bad people, I am owed money, I will jump up and down in court until I am paid what I am owed.
Don’t shield your eyes and look the other way. You know who you are. You are the franchisee who knows better and believes that it is easier to “blame the victim” than it is to step up and take a stand against this rogue franchisor. After all you say, I have money invested in this too….and I can’t afford to be singled out by corporate and lose what I have in the process.
So to the readers of this forum, if you don’t understand that the language and requirements in the contract are enforceable, then heaven help you if you think that only bad things happen to the other guy.
Please understand that what you are reading about is trust and good faith taken advantage of by a rogue franchisor who has a perfect right to have his franchise agreement enforced.
- Guest on June 24th, 2009 8:21 amGive me a break!! If I don’t watch out for myself, who will????? Let me tell you a secret, most franchisees lag behind in their royalty payments. Which is a violation of the contract. That is why I don’t do anything that will be noticed.
- guest on June 25th, 2009 12:07 pmExactly, why do you think most franchisees lag behind in their royalty payments, because many owners are struggling and struggling hard, with no help from the franchisor at all. How do you grow a system where many people can’t even pay their bills?
- A Children’s Orchard franchisee on June 30th, 2009 7:13 pmI’ll be glad when my Children’s Orchard franchise agreement ends. Taylor Bond and his staff have run this once great organization into the ground! Check out Taylor Bonds record and you’ll see he has a history of being a failure.
- visitor on July 3rd, 2009 2:03 pmI think what has happened to this franchise would make a good case study of what can go wrong when a franchise system is sold.
The franchisees that signed up under Walt Hamilton ran businesses free from corporate harassment. He appreciated feedback and basically trained franchisees to understand the dynamics of their own locations. He taught to use the business system as a supportive guide line.
Those old franchisees were sold down the river by Hamilton, and he is just as responsible for the demise of this system as much the Bonds are responsible.
- Guest on July 6th, 2009 3:26 amIt is too bad……this concept is a great one and this system should be thriving, if not growing, in an economy where people are trying to save all the money they can. But it is not, something inherently wrong with this particular agreement and model I would say.
- Stacyon July 8th, 2009 9:45 amDoes anyone know who the investers are?
We’re having issue’s w/a different family member and are looking for any business info.
- Guest on July 8th, 2009 3:15 pmI don’t know who the investors are, but I would imagine his brother, Adam Bond, who an attorney (and used to be a Selectman in Massachusetts, amid controversy), is one of them. Not really sure, hope others have more info.
- visitor on July 8th, 2009 5:27 pmI do not know for certain, but everything I have researched points to family members as being “investors.”
I strongly believe that if Taylor Bond had to report to a board and/or to investors, he would have been removed as the CEO long ago. His family are enablers, and I do not see any of them having the courage to confront his business practices.
His brother the attorney is on the payroll, so is his wife. I know other family members have visited the corporate offices from time to time. If there are other investors, they must not have not visited the corporate office because it would have been noticeable if a unfamiliar person showed up.
- bob on July 8th, 2009 8:39 pmWhen was the last new franchise sold. And will they ever sell another one?
- Guest on July 8th, 2009 10:56 pmThe last new franchise sold was Las Vegas-Summerlin in which signed in August 2007 and opened in February 2008 (those owners have already closed after just one year of being open) and Apple Valley California which signed in June of 2007 and opened in March 2008. I do not know of any other NEW franchises.
- guest-2on July 9th, 2009 1:56 pmJust FYI, check out Cathy Marks info on Linkedin.com. Her interests are: career opportunities,new ventures,job inquiries, business deals and consulting deals!
- Children’s Orchard store owner on July 9th, 2009 5:55 pmThe last new store opened Nov 22, 2008 in Roseville, CA. I went by their store a month or so ago and the McCues arn’t impressed with their first year or with the help they’ve recieved from Ann Arbor.
- Rufus on July 11th, 2009 11:52 amThis note is for prospective franchisees, if there could be any left at this point:
You need only to know that Taylor Bond is a Taker, and a greedy one at that. Not content to collect the royalty and advertising fees that were corporate’s primary sources of income when he bought the company and became it’s President, he has found introduced several additional ways of unilaterally taking money from franchisees. The include such things a “territory fees”, “minimum weekly and annual royalty fees”, “handing out cache cards to customers for store credit (on which royalties are collected) for signing up to be on a local store’s email”, “handing out cache cards to customers for store credit (on which royalties are collected) when the customers are already pleased to be shopping in one of our stores, etc. The list goes on . . . In my experience it is not an option for Mr. Bond to give his franchisees anything — unless he himself will profit from the transaction, at his franchisees’ expense.
Apparently, his parents never told him the story of the Golden Goose, who would have kept on giving if the owner has been appreciative and not greedy.
- visitor on July 11th, 2009 12:40 pmDoes anyone know how to find a 2009 FDD for this franchise. I am not interested in calling corporate directly, and my state does not keep FDD’s on file.
- visitor on July 13th, 2009 12:35 amYou’ll have to go through the corporate office for that. Just tell them your interested in opening a franchise and they’ll send it right out. They are very helpful at the outset!
- Peteon July 13th, 2009 11:40 pmIn the past, you were able to get the FDD’s from California Secretary of State on line. They would be the same no matter what state you get it from. Good luck.
- visitor on July 14th, 2009 8:24 amThanks Pete, someone else pointed me to a State of California Securities website too, but I didn’t have any luck. I found 2008, but no 2009 FDD. Maybe this franchisor is no longer selling in California?
- guest on July 15th, 2009 3:43 pmcould be, I wish we could see one of the 2009 versions, be interesting to see how many units they say they have open, as opposed to the true number of units.
- guest on July 15th, 2009 3:44 pmCould be, I wish we could see one of the 2009 versions, be interesting to see how many units they say they have open, as opposed to the true number of units. I know several stores have closed since the beginning of 2009
- CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: Customer Buys Newburyport Franchise | Unhappy Franchiseeon July 24th, 2009 8:39 am[…] relationship between Children’s Orchard franchise owners and their franchisor (See CHILDREN’S ORCHARD: Overview & Links). Despite the growth of competing resale franchise chains, unhappy franchisees fault […]
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