Ever wondered which of the biggest brands in Europe use the franchise model? Here, we’re looking at the top European franchises in the UK and the advantages of joining them.
With one of the most developed franchise sectors on the planet, Europe is an attractive prospect for budding business owners. It’s governed by the European Franchise Federation (EFF) and home to a large number of internationally recognisable brands.
Today, we’re shining a light on four of the top European franchises operating in the UK. You can find out more information about each of them on their individual Point Franchise profile pages.
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Advantages of running a European franchise business in the UK
- The UK has proved itself an exceptionally strong market for franchises; there are now more than 44,000 franchise units operating here.
- English is widely spoken throughout Europe, making communication with franchisors easier.
- England has an internationally renowned capital city with a reputation as a key commercial hub.
- European franchises must adhere to stricter regulations than businesses in the UK. While the system here is relatively flexible, franchises in Europe are often more structured, so there’s no shortage of high-quality companies.
- While Brexit will change the UK’s relationship with the EU, it’s unlikely to alter its approach to franchising significantly. As a result, the UK should remain a favourable market for franchise owners and provide stability for entrepreneurs looking for a low-risk investment.
Many businesses across the UK are propagating a very negative culture throughout their organisations because of Brexit – employees are feeling demotivated and nervous about their job stability, which is prompting them to want to take charge of their own career destiny. Franchising is a very attractive option as they can take that leap with proven business models. - Shaun Thomson, CEO and master franchisor at Sandler Training (UK)
Top European franchises
1. Citroen (established in France)
Everyone’s heard of Citroen; it’s an international car dealership franchise, and it also provides emergency assistance, car warranty check-ups and vehicle maintenance. Thanks to the business’s diverse range of services, franchisees can tap into multiple revenue streams and increase their turnover.
- Becoming a Citroen franchisee: Established in 1919, Citroen has a century of experience in the car manufacturing industry, which it passes on to its franchisees. As an investor, you’ll join the team of 13,000 people working under the brand and benefit from its proven business model.
- How much you need to invest: It takes a minimum of £700,000 to set up a Citroen dealership, and franchisees must have at least £250,000 in liquid assets.
- What you get for your investment: Citroen provides a one-week training scheme and ongoing business support, as well as marketing materials, inventory and flyers.
Unfortunately, Citroen isn’t currently looking for new franchisees, but it’s worth checking back regularly, as opportunities might become available in the future.
2. SPAR (established in the Netherlands)
There are over 12,000 SPAR businesses across more than 34 countries. In fact, SPAR is the largest food store chain on the planet. In the UK alone, 50,000 attentive staff members serve the public daily, helping to generate total revenue of over £3 billion.
- Becoming a SPAR franchisee: With a history stretching all the way back to 1932, SPAR is a staple of the British high street. It’s ‘run by locals, for locals’, and entrepreneurs who choose to open their own SPAR branch will benefit from the brand’s positive reputation.
- How much you need to invest: SPAR hasn’t released any details on how much it might cost to launch your own store. You can get in touch with the franchise via its website to find out.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll be able to make use of SPAR’s store development service and online Guild Training Academy. By using these valuable tools, you can gain key retail management qualifications and progress further in the retail sector.
Since COVID-19, SPAR has kept us well stocked, and sales have boomed. Customers have given us great feedback about stock levels verbally and on Facebook with some saying we were better stocked than the supermarkets. - Malcolm Blake, SPAR Long Riston
3. Europcar (established in France)
Vehicle rental franchise Europcar has over 2,900 units spread across 147 countries. It’s well known for providing high-quality cars at a reasonable price.
- Becoming a Europcar franchisee: The automotive franchise has established a number of business partnerships with some of the world's leading car manufacturers. As a result, franchisees can build their own custom fleet of vehicles as their business develops.
- How much you need to invest: To launch a Europcar franchise unit, you’ll need to raise at least £800,000, but your total investment will depend on your location.
- What you get for your investment: Europcar’s comprehensive franchise package includes a six-day training programme, operations manuals, marketing materials and help with site selection and set-up. Franchisees also receive ongoing support and guidance.
4. Schmidt (established in Germany)
Founded in 1959, Schmidt has been designing, manufacturing and selling innovative, made-to-measure kitchen and bathroom furniture for six decades. It creates its kitchens in six factories across Europe and displays them in 450 showrooms in 25 countries.
- Becoming a Schmidt franchisee: You’ll become part of a business with an annual turnover of more than £425 million, and you can expect to make up to £2 million per year. You won’t have to deal with stock, as orders are shipped directly to customers from the factory, and you’ll enjoy the company’s high levels of brand awareness.
- How much you need to invest: To join the group of 30 Schmidt franchisees currently operating in the UK, you’ll need to make a total investment of £450,000.
- What you get for your investment: All Schmidt franchisees get the chance to enrol onto a 14-week induction programme involving theoretical and practical training as they set up their franchise unit. The kitchen franchise also offers support with writing a business plan, finding a suitable location, fitting out the showroom and training employees.
Join a European franchise
If you’re interested in running your own business with a European franchise, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to choose from. We’ve revealed just four of the biggest businesses in the industry, but countless others are offering lucrative investment options.
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IKEA, Swarovski and Mango are all European franchises, but we also work with a vast range of slightly smaller brands. Take a look at the businesses below to find out more about your options:
- Food franchise Bagel Corner
- Furniture franchise BoConcept
- Gym franchise Bodystreet
- Wine franchise CavavinBeauty salon franchise Guinot
- Fashion franchise Noa Noa
Find out more about joining the franchise industry with our range of informative business guides, published daily.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©