9th January 2014

Annual Franchise survey shows impressive growth in the sector

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9th January 2014

Annual Franchise survey shows impressive growth in the sector


The results of the 2013 NatWest British Franchise Association (BFA) franchise survey are in. They show that in spite of the economic situation, franchising in the UK continues to grow. This reinforces the fact that the sector remains resilient and robust in the face of otherwise difficult trading conditions.
The main takeaways:

  • There are 930 franchise systems in the UK which is an increase of 11{ba3215b0bf35eaeb06be458b3396ffbfc50bb9db10c9ff1594dfc3875e90ea48} since 2008.
  • The total number of people employed in franchising in the UK is 561,000. This is a 20{ba3215b0bf35eaeb06be458b3396ffbfc50bb9db10c9ff1594dfc3875e90ea48} increase in franchise employment over the last five years. The survey shows a clear move from part time to full time jobs.
  • The overall contribution of franchising to the UK economy is £13.7 billion, equating to just under 1{ba3215b0bf35eaeb06be458b3396ffbfc50bb9db10c9ff1594dfc3875e90ea48} of GDP. This is a 20{ba3215b0bf35eaeb06be458b3396ffbfc50bb9db10c9ff1594dfc3875e90ea48} increase since 2008.
  • Over half of franchisees report ‘good profitability’ and four in five new franchisees are profitable inside two years.
  • Whilst the proportion of women coming into the sector has increased over the past 25 years, there are indications that the number is now in decline. Next year’s survey results will show whether this is a blip or a long term trend.

Brian Smart, Director General of the bfa, is quoted in the report as saying: “UK franchising offers thousands of people each year the opportunity to take on their own sustainable business, in turn creating employment for many thousands more – a success that has continued through hard economic times while other parts of the economy has struggled.”

Graeme Jones, Head of Franchising at NatWest, says: “Franchising in the UK continues to deliver real benefits for the economy and the growth achieved over the past 5 years is a standout achievement. Optimism remains high, underpinned by profitable trading and opportunities both here and overseas. In the 30 plus years that NatWest has had a specialist franchise team, this is the most robust set of results from our annual survey and we are delighted to continue our support for the sector.”

The survey, which has been running since 1994, is the most detailed long term franchise survey in the world.

For those people thinking of starting a franchise we offer a range of services including a review of any documentation, often for a fixed fee. Please contact Emily Sadler on 023 8048 2102 and she will be pleased to talk further with you about how we can help.