Monday, September 16, 2013

Cowlicks Put Out to Pasture in Sandy Springs

Cowlicks Yogurt & Floats sleeps with the fishes in Sandy Springs.


Atlanta-based Cowlicks Yogurt & Floats has closed one of its two locations.  The chain, part of Big Game Brands (formerly known as Raving Brands) was launched in early 2011 and was a little late, even then, to the frozen yogurt craze.  Vending yogurt from YoCream, the Portland, Oregon-based frozen yogurt subsidiary of yogurt powerhouse Dannon, did little to separate the brand from the dozens of other local FroYo options.  RaceTrac, Menchie's and reportedly even Atlanta-based Yogli Mogli, all serve YoCream as well, albeit in different formats and at different prices.

I publicly questioned the viability of Cowlicks upon first writing about them in 2011.  Somehow, I mistakenly omitted them from my DeathWatch column earlier this year, but alas they beat me to it.  The Sandy Springs location closed effective August 30th while the Vinings location is reportedly still open.

Both shops were previously Planet Smoothie locations (former Raving Brands concept.)  Most recently, both locations were listed for sale by The Shumacher Group with each locations priced at $49,999.  Full ownership of the name and associated trademarks were to have been included in sale if both units were purchased by the same buyer.

Additionally, the listing states :

"Set up by a nationally well known restaurant company Cowlick’s Yogurt & Floats was created to be a national franchise. All systems are in place to take the next step for creating a franchise or licensing company to grow this nationally, regionally or locally with ease."

I'm not so sure this matters all that much considering the chain never grew past its two units.   Judging by their seemingly low asking price and minimal brand awareness and commoditized product, I'd guess whoever buys the business won't "grow the brand."

A purchase of the Vinings location would likely net the buyer this creepy cow costume of Cowlicks mascot Bella (perfect for Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day)

With summer ending and temperatures falling, Atlanta is sure to see additional FroYo closures. I've previously documented the many national players that have closed some or all of their stores in Atlanta but I anticipate seeing at least a half dozen more in the metro close before the end of the year.

Rumor has it that Colliers International, the company in charge of leasing the Publix at Perimeter center in which the now closed Cowlicks was located wants to combine the space adjacent to them for a larger, roughly 2000 square foot space.  This move is likely to attract small fast casual concepts seeking a presence in the Perimeter Mall / Sandy Springs market.

Are you surprised by the closure of Cowlicks?
What would you like to see open in place of Cowlicks and its neighboring space in Sandy Springs?
Where is your favorite place for FroYo in Atlanta?
Please share your thoughts below.

3 comments:

AJ said...

The last thing that shopping center needs is another restaurant. Parking is HORRIBLE during lunchtime! That being said, if it's something good, I can't complain that much as I work just down the road!!

Steve said...

Second what AJ said. Unbelievably terrible parking in that location. I work in the area as well, and know that even though I work about 2 miles away, I have to set aside over an hour for lunch because of the parking. Awful.

glen said...

Parking sucks, Already have Willys Burrito, Chin Chin, Domino's, Arby's and Einstein Bagels. also deli at Publix. Only thing missing is a Burger or Chicken place--Hmmm maybe a new proto type for Zaxby's!