Interior of a franchise
Eduardo Abadía, Managing Director of the Spanish Association of Franchisers (AEF)
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since the 80s, when the franchise model landed in Spain mainly introduced by French and North American brands. In all this time we have had to work hard and feed a business system that has gone through different stages, to reap the benefits planted to get to where we are today, a time characterised by an unprecedented maturity and, above all, by having become a benchmark, pioneers in the preparation of national, international and even litigation studies; reports that are not prepared in any other country in the world.
The data supports the limelight and weight that the franchise is gradually acquiring in the national economy. Thus, we refer to a business marketing formula with a turnover of over 27,500 million euros, which operates with more than 74,000 establishments throughout Spain and, most importantly, employs more than 278,000 people. Furthermore, these are figures that have been growing for four consecutive years, a more than clear indication that the crisis has been definitively left behind, and that we were the first business system that was able to overcome it, on the back of constant innovation and the fact that the establishments have been able to adapt to the new demands and needs of a market in constant change.
With such a promising scenario, it does not come as a surprise that more and more entrepreneurs are interested in franchising their concepts – nowadays, the system is made up of 1,348 networks, a number that has been increasing yearly since 2005 – and people who are opting to open franchised businesses, to also become franchisees. Even from the AEF, we are seeing that the profile of those who are now approaching the world of franchising has changed since they are now better educated and, for the most part, they are aware of the advantages and added values that offered to them, minimising the risks compared to the option of starting their own business.
In short, what started as a new system – rightly – 40 years ago in Spain, has been fed by all those who integrate it, and is now a solid system, in good health and has a promising future, since it is capable of transmitting confidence and security to the market, to consumers and to those who want to franchise or be franchisees. There is no question that all the efforts that have been made, and continue to be made, are definitely worth it.