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What franchising can offer shoppers

PUBLISHED: 12:39 25 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:39 25 September 2017

Damian Humphrey, partner at Ashtons Legal. Picture: Dave Richardson.

Damian Humphrey, partner at Ashtons Legal. Picture: Dave Richardson.

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What benefits can franchises offer customers, asks Damian Humphrey of Ashtons Legal.

“I was going to use them but didn’t when I realised they were a franchise”.

As a franchise lawyer, hearing this from my dad during a recent telephone call got me thinking.

Many of the articles I write about franchising extol its virtues to those considering setting up a franchise or those looking at buying into a franchised business, but never have I given any serious thought as to whether a franchise business was a more or less attractive proposition to a would-be customer.

Many of the businesses that we use daily are franchises – high street brands which are franchised include Boots Opticians, McDonalds, Costa Coffee, Subway and O2, while Norfolk is home to TaxAssist Accountants, Signs Express and Agency Express, some of the nation’s most respected franchise brands.

Franchising, where independent business owners are licensed by brand owners to use the name and follow their systems and processes, is an ever expanding sector for the UK economy, contributing almost £20bn annually.

So are consumers spending more with franchise businesses in the knowledge that they are buying from a franchise or are they simply unaware that a business is franchised?

And if the latter is true, what are the benefits of buying from a franchise such that they are becoming ever more popular?

 Competitive pricing – as franchise owners are independent, they are free to set their own prices in line with the local economy and market demands;

 Customer service – the quality of service to the consumer is often higher due to the fact that the franchise owner is heavily invested in the business;

 National coverage – franchising enables businesses to expand more rapidly, providing the consumer with a nationwide offering;

 User experience – franchisees are required to strictly follow approved process which are enforced by the franchisor, proving consumers with the same customer experience wherever they are in the country.

With that in mind, Dad, maybe next time you will consider buying from a franchise.

Damian Humphrey is a partner at Ashtons Legal.

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