Genji Sushi launched in 1997 and today operates 165 units, all of them located inside Whole Foods Markets. The partnership of the separately owned brands has proven profitable for both, but such arrangements also come with challenges, said consultant Gary Stibel. "You lose a lot of freedom, but you do it because it’s good for your business. If you do a deal like this, the freedom lost is worth the benefits you gain."

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