The Best Retail Franchises in the UK

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best retail franchises

Originally posted on 12/09/2017. Updated on 15/05/2019.

The total value of retail sales in the UK valued a whopping £381 billion in 2018 (Retail Economics). There were 2.9 million people employed in and 299,415 retail outlets operating in the lucrative industry. In fact, one third of our spending goes through retail. 2018 also saw a four percent growth in sales, demonstrating that the retail industry is remaining resilient. The proportion of retail sales made online is on the increase, with this valuing 18 percent last year and 12 percent in 2016. Retail businesses are starting to evolve their business model to cater for the online shopper and online retailers are capitalising on the growing market.

Impact of Brexit

However, a recent article demonstrates how, over the past few months, UK retailers have suffered lower sales due to the uncertainty of Brexit. Some consumers are becoming warier of making big purchases in this ambiguous time. In the weeks before Britain was scheduled to leave the EU, shoppers were less likely to part with their cash for discretionary goods. Not including food shopping, high street sales lowered by 0.4 percent over the three months leading to February. Online, non-food item sales were also sluggish. Despite growth in consumer spending having eased since the EU referendum, sales have not entirely collapsed.

Is this the right time?

You need to consider whether todays climate is the best time to be investing into an industry which is as lucrative as it is unpredictable. For instance, last Christmas was one of the worst Christmas shopping periods in a decade. However, there was an unexpected recovery in January due to significant discounts encouraging consumers to buy greater volumes of products. This demonstrates that there are ways to increase sales and, as long as you keep an eye on customer trends and what customers want, then you should be able to navigate a retail franchise through times of economic uncertainty. The retail industry is diverse and there is an abundance of different sectors you can operate in.

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Which sector is right for me?

Certain areas are more secure and are growing at a faster rate than others. If you are keen to make your mark in the industry and are convinced youve got what it takes, some of the best franchises to invest in are:

Consumables Franchises

In times of economic uncertainty, consumables franchises are good idea because once you have established a trusted customer base, repeat purchases are a guaranteed source of income. Also, if shoppers are tightening the purse strings, they are more likely to spend on commodities that are used up quickly rather than non-essential items. Bargain Booze is the UKs leading off-licence, with over 700 stores nationwide. Head to its website now to find out more information and you can call up and enquire about the franchise opportunity.

Buy and Sell Franchises

Brexit has also caused buy and sell businesses to see surge in profitability. Complete Entertainment eXchange (CeX) and Cash Converters are two franchises that have made exchanging goods for cash even easier. And they sometimes can even buy them back again if needed.


This franchise caters for people who wish to buy and sell second-hand entertainment products, including DVDS, computers and video games. There are currently over 383 outlets across the UK, the majority of which are franchises. The brand is actively seeking franchisees to help further its expansion. In order to invest, you need a minimum investment from £150,000 to £250,000 and a liquid capital of £40,000.

Cash Converters

Cash Converters UK Ltd is a common sight on British highstreets and is synonymous with the sale of pre-owned goods in exchange for cash. The Australian brand now has over 200 stores operating in the UK. Interested franchisees will need to make a minimum investment of £39,000 and a total investment of £100,000. The expected revenue after two years is an impressive £204,000.

Upmarket Furnishing Franchises

When buying many products, especially furniture, quality is incredibly important to consumers. Therefore, the popularity of luxurious high-end furniture has sparked a surge of franchises in this area.


Gautier is stylish French furniture retailer that is recognised in 65 countries via over 100 stores. The brand is a leader in the indoor furniture sector and it was the first to cater for children, with junior-sized furniture being realised as a category across the globe. Gautier has ambitious expansion plans and opens an average of ten new outlets worldwide each year. If youre keen to be part of this contemporary furniture brands UK expansion journey, a minimum investment of £250,000 is required.

Why choose the franchise route?


Finding the right location is paramount for the success of a retail business. Footfall is crucial in order for retail franchises to be successful, but getting this right is often one of the most difficult parts of the business start-up process. This is when having the support and knowledge of a franchisor is invaluable. You can draw on the franchisors business expertise and industry-related experience to help find the right location.

Brand Recognition

Starting from scratch would be incredibly rewarding and satisfying if done right. However, it is riskier and it takes longer for customers to start to trust a new brands products/services. Buying an established franchise that people know and trust eliminates this level of uncertainty.


In such an unpredictable and competitive industry, gaining training, coaching and ongoing support should provide you with the reassurance and confidence you need to succeed. Learning how to operate the business, both from a technical and operational perspective is a benefit that independent retailers can only dream of.

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