The Cold Stone Truth: A Case Study of the Cold Stone Franchise

The Cold Stone Truth: A Case Study of the Cold Stone Franchise

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

This case study examines the legal actions taken by Cold Stone Creamery and their franchisees in response to the CNBC documentary Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising in 2010 and the Complaint for Declaratory Relief filed by the National Association of Cold Stone Creamery Franchisees (NIACCF) against Cold Stone in 2012. Both cases involve allegations against the franchise for their accounting practices related to vendor rebates (‘kickbacks’) and the franchisor’s gift card program that have led to decreased profit margins for franchisees. In exploring the causes and outcomes of these two cases, there is evidence that the Cold Stone Creamery franchise may not be as strong as it had been in the early 2000s.

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