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Date: 6/7/2011
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Marketing and Advertising Franchise Welcomemat Services Inks First Agreement for Southeast. | Marketing and Advertising Franchise Welcomemat Services Inks First Franchise Agreement for Southeast. Cutting-edge franchise system rolls out the “Welcome Mat” for businesses throughout Hilton Head-Bluffton-Savannah region.

ATLANTA – (June 2011) – Welcomemat Services, a leading marketing strategies and technology franchise system specializing in helping businesses turn new movers into loyal customers, today announced it has signed a franchise agreement with Thomas Gardo of Hilton Head, South Carolina. The new business will serve Hilton Head and Bluffton, South Carolina as well as greater Savannah, Georgia and is the company’s first franchise location in its system.

“We are thrilled to have Thomas join the Welcomemat Services franchise system,” said Brian Mattingly, founder and president of Welcomemat Services. “He has a tremendous amount of background experience in marketing and business strategies that will be a valuable asset for our franchise system and his clients.  “Thomas’ expertise coupled with our outstanding customer loyalty program platform will offer businesses unrivaled support when it comes to targeting new movers and turning them into loyal customers. We look forward to his success as the first franchise owner with the brand.”

Gardo, a former journalist and decorated Vietnam veteran, has worked in marketing communications and public relations for more than 35 years both on the corporate side and with advertising/PR firms. His first corporate position was for a major airline in New York City where he worked as PR Director of Field Services. He moved to Hilton Head Island, SC in the mid-1970s and became Vice President of Advertising and Public Relations for The Sea Pines Company, an international real estate development firm. In the early 1980’s, Gardo and two partners founded the advertising/public relations firm Gardo, Doughtie & Rose, Inc. which through two transitions during the past 25 years has become Denarius Group, Inc. Gardo will continue to serve as the firm’s president while operating Welcomemat Services.

“Welcomemat Services is an innovative franchise concept that assists its clients more effectively through the use of technology to gain a competitive advantage in their local marketplace,” said Gardo. “I am proud to join the franchise system that offers a solid return on investment of time, money and energy while providing clients with a low-cost marketing program to generate long-term loyal customers. I look forward to working with businesses to turn new movers into loyal customers.”

The regional development announcement stems from a larger, national expansion plan that calls for 200 locations to open during the next five years throughout high profile, transient markets. As part of its strategic growth plan, Welcomemat Services made the decision to start franchising in December 2010 after building a strong foundation of 12 successful corporate-owned locations.

Welcomemat Services is known for its specialized loyalty program that delivers a gift certificate package of sophisticated invitations to new movers that may be redeemed at local restaurants, salons, medical practices and auto service centers. The company is the first and only loyalty marketing platform designed for local businesses that employs proprietary technology to enable new mover information to be bar-coded into every invitation. The barcode information not only allows small businesses the ability to track response of their marketing dollars, but also gives them insight into the moving population in their area.

To augment the company’s strategic growth, in the summer of 2010, Welcomemat Services received nearly $2 million in capital investment from private investors to propel  franchise expansion in markets nationwide. As part of this plan, Welcomemat Services is seeking sales-savvy individuals to develop the national Welcomemat network that is creating the next revolution in local, technology-based marketing. The average cost to purchase a Welcomemat Services territory ranges from $49,900 to $77,050, which includes a franchise fee of $35,000. Franchise owners are not required to have industry experience, but should have solid sales and networking skills in order to effectively build relationships with clients.

About Welcomemat Services
Founded in 2003 by a team of experienced sales and software professionals, Welcomemat Services provides local businesses access to new loyal customers in their local communities through a combined digital and print marketing program. Unique in the estimated $133 billion local advertising market, Welcomemat Services uses specialized, patent-pending technology to store and log customer demographics for use by the local companies it supports. Welcomemat Services has 12 company owned units and began franchising in Q4 of 2010.

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