Retail Careers: Be Your Own Boss with a Franchise

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retail careers

The retail industry forms the foundation of the British economy and is one of the most significant contributors to the UK treasury. While this is mainly due to the sheer size of the industry, its component parts are also considered strong economic contributors. This is particularly true of the fashion retail sector. Here, we examine the fashion industry and look at how you could launch your own business through the franchising sector.

The retail industry

The UK retail industry encompasses all businesses that sell consumer goods and services to customers within the country. This includes supermarkets, clothing stores, toy shops, beauty stores, or even sports equipment businesses. This makes it the largest private sector employer in the UK.

While the largest retailers in the market are all supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, and Morrisons), the sector is also home to many other prestigious brands, including Arcadia Group, Debenhams, Argos, Boots, and John Lewis, amongst others.

In 2016, the retail industry generated around £358 billion in sales and was home to more than 290,000 individual stores. It employed people in a diverse array of retail careers, including marketing, procurement, loss prevention, distribution, and sales, amongst others. However, as the industry is so large, well be taking a more in-depth look at one particular part of it fashion and clothing retail.

The fashion retail sector

If were talking specifically about the fashion industry, were looking at a smaller market, but one that still boats enormous potential. The value of the UK fashion market is estimated to be in the region of £66 billion. It employs approximately 555,000, of which the vast majority work in retail. There are roughly 12,000 UK businesses that specialise in fashion retailing, and the industry has grown at an average of 1.6% every year, for the last five years.

While internet retailing has detracted from brick and mortar businesses, theres still considerable opportunity for any business owner who can establish a strong and popular brand that fills a particular demand. This is why franchising is currently considered an excellent means of gaining entry to the sector.

Making it on your own - retail management careers

If youre hoping to start your own retail business, its necessary to develop effective management skills. As the head of a complex and varied business operation, youll be required to manage a team of individuals and ensure theyre able to provide the highest level of customer service.

However, you'll also be responsible for managing all the backroom aspects of the business. This means managing the logistics and distribution chain, the business' finances, and marketing, too. Consequently, a successful retail manager will have developed a diverse array of skills that allow them to oversee every aspect of the business.

Franchising for fashion retail careers

One of the quickest, easiest, and most successful ways of starting a business is partnering with a franchise to open your new store under their name. One of the most challenging aspects of launching a new business is establishing a strong brand, developing a reputation, and building a buzz around your company. By starting a franchise unit, you benefit from the hard work thats already gone into developing the brand and raising consumer awareness.

Franchisees also benefit from extensive support networks that provide them with expertise and guidance as you build your business. No business owner knows everything immediately, and for many entrepreneurs, the only way of learning is by making mistakes. Franchisees are fortunate to have experienced professionals backing you and offering advice and training as you go.

Theres no doubt that franchising is the more efficient route to take when it comes to opening your own fashion retailer. However, its vital that you find the right franchise.

Finding the right retail franchise

Its necessary to perform a great deal of research to find the right fashion retailer for you. This means using a wide variety of resources to explore the opportunities available to you. Search online, attend franchise exhibitions, read franchising magazines, and sign up to email newsletters. If you dont spend a considerable amount of time searching, youre unlikely to find the ideal investment opportunity.

To get you started, weve compiled a list of three of our top franchised fashion retailers.


Skechers is a popular footwear retailer that has now been in operation for over 20 years and is worth approximately $3.56 billion. It boasts a high-profile presence in shopping centres and on high streets around the country and also has international reach, with a presence in more than 160 countries and territories.

Opening a Skechers franchise requires a total investment of somewhere between £44,000 and £88,000, depending on the location. Its major selling point is its well-established brand and remarkable customer awareness ratings. Becoming a Skechers franchisee means becoming a part of one of the worlds largest and most prestigious footwear retailers.

Noa Noa

Noa Noa is a Danish-inspired fashion franchise that appeals to a predominately female market and specialises in modern, bohemian styles that communicate confidence and an appreciation for self-expression. The brand operates in 20 countries, boasts more than 60 unique concept stores and also has a presence in over 400 multi-brand stores.

Becoming a Noa Noa franchisee requires between £50,000 and £100,000 of investment. This grants you access to the entire Noa Noa franchise package and the right to operate under the brand name, as well as to use its trademarks.


Reiss is a global luxury fashion brand that has established stores in the UK, US, UAE, Russia, and Canada, as well as many other important international markets. It specialises in contemporary fashion for both men and women and has successfully developed a robust and exclusive brand that appeals to a wide range of customers. Investment figures are not currently available for UK franchise opportunities, and anyone interested in becoming a franchisee will need to contact the franchisor for further information.

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