Everyone needs to buy furniture at some point. If you can create a business with a unique strategy, sustainable practices and an eye-catching product range, you have the chance to carve out a space for yourself in a busy market. Joining a franchise is a good way to go if you’re thinking of starting a business, as it will offer the security of a proven brand, existing customer awareness and ongoing support. But what furniture franchises are there?
BoConcept is a premium lifestyle brand that designs, produces and sells furniture, accessories and lighting for the home and outdoor spaces. A Danish brand, this business started out as a small furniture manufacturer in Herning, Denmark, in 1952. It began selling its own products in 1993, from the first BoConcept store in Paris. Today, there are more than 300 stores worldwide, spread across 65 countries and six continents. The ubiquity of the store enables it to attract more than five million customers yearly, while a further 15 million people visit the brand’s website.
The BoConcept Experience
A premium brand means premium materials, and BoConcept doesn’t skimp on these. In its stores, you’ll find examples of aniline leather, felt, velvet, oak, walnut, chrome and steel, which help to create the brand’s high-quality, contemporary and functional pieces. BoConcept is also proud of its Danish heritage, and puts Scandinavian and Nordic design principles at the heart of the business.
Customers can expect a personalised experience with BoConcept. The brand’s interior design service provides experts to visit your home, listen to your requirements and offer valuable advice. What you end up with, is a product – or range of products – tailored to your needs and taste that creates a consistent look throughout your home.
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Franchising with BoConcept
BoConcept has big ambitions for future expansion, and intends to increase the number of stores in operation from 300 to 600 during the next five years. To do this, it needs multi-unit franchisees in the form of investors, existing business owners or furniture retailers interested in re-branding their store. BoConcept has more than 25 years of franchising experience, so it’s a great business join.
But this isn’t the only reason you should consider franchising with this business. A BoConcept store has a lot to offer its customers, so you’re likely to make a good return on investment. For example, all stores have an on-site workshop, where you can show customers the furniture customisation options available to them.
You can also increase your revenue by taking advantage of the company’s developing B2B initiative, offering furniture and fittings for office spaces and businesses in the hospitality sector alongside its residential products. What’s more, you’ll only need to employ 4-6 people per store, and you can save time and money with BoConcept’s ‘cross docking’ process, which delivers all products in one batch.
To open a BoConcept store, you must have a net worth of at least £1.3 million and funds of £450,000. The exact level of investment required will depend upon the size and location of the proposed store, but you won’t have to pay any royalty fees once you’re up and running.
Another franchising option in the furniture sector is Gautier, a furniture manufacturer and retailer based in France. This business also specialises in contemporary pieces for individuals and businesses, but prioritises sustainable manufacturing processes, recycling over 50 percent of its packaging and 98 percent of its waste. It also works with local businesses when possible and optimises transportation strategies to minimise emissions.
Gautier has three manufacturing sites in the Vendée region of France and exclusively uses wood from French trees. The business is so confident that the quality of its furniture means fantastic value for money for its customers that it includes a 10-year guarantee on all products, excluding mattresses, chairs and sofas.
History of the Brand
Gautier was founded in 1960 by Patrice Gautier and his wife, Annick. It originally manufactured furniture for children’s bedrooms and, in 1980, designed the ‘car bed’, which was met with excitement from young boys and girls alike. By 1985, Gautier’s rooms were becoming more and more likely studios, a separate living space for children, cut off from the adult world. As its design strategies evolved, it introduced bedroom plans for teenagers too.
The late eighties and nineties saw Gautier develop as it continued to expand its portfolio. 1988 marked its introduction of adult’s bedrooms and office designs were incorporated into its range in 1989. In 1999, Gautier branched out into living room designs and the first Gautier walk-in wardrobes were launched in 2002.
2005 marked the unveiling of the first Gautier franchise store in La Rochelle. This was the first of 80 franchise branches across the world, situated as far afield as Belgium, India, Morocco and Russia.
In 2006, Gautier introduced its sustainability drive, which has characterised the business ever since. Today, the franchise continues to expand into new territories and, since 2014, has been targeting countries that have been overlooked by competitors, such as Mongolia, Kenya and Algeria.
Franchising with Gautier
Gautier aims to consistently broaden its portfolio of locations and launches an average of 10 new stores across the world every year. If you choose to open a Gautier business, you’ll be given an exclusive territory and a six-year contract that you can renew in three-year blocks. Within your territory, you’ll need to find a suitable site with between 1,000 and 2,300 square feet of space.
In terms of funding, you’ll need to make a total investment of at least £180,000. Like BoConcept franchisees, you won’t need to pay royalties to the franchisor once your business is up and running, so there is scope to make impressive profits after you’ve reached your break even point.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©