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The international franchise exhibition, Franchise Expo Paris, will be held March 20th to 23rd 2022. Sylvie Gaudy is division director at Reed Exposition, one of the organisers of the Paris show. We discussed the challenges of the Expo in 2022.

Through . Published on 15 March 2022 à 10h41 - Update on 15 March 2022 à 10h41

You are an international trade show. Were some regions more visible than others during the last version of the show? Do Europeans make up the majority of exhibitors?

Sylvie Gaudy: In terms of exhibitors, 75% of the show is made up of companies based in France and 25% by international companies. For example, the American brand Carl’s Junior has come as an exhibitor and has found a master franchisee who will develop their brand in France. As far as international exhibitors are concerned, there are Europeans with a strong Italian presence. A total of 17 nationalities are here this year compared to 27 countries before Covid-19.

How do you explain a dominance of Italians?

SG: There are about 200 Italian networks operating internationally. The Covid-19 pandemic is boosting this trend because of the need to find new revenue and overcome a crisis in their domestic market.

35% of Italian franchisors aim to be international but say they need dedicated support and services to successfully penetrate foreign markets. Therefore, the support provided by ICE / ITA Italian Trade Agency with the implementation of initiatives such as the Italian Pavilion at Franchise Expo are essential for Italian companies.

How has a franchise model developed in the last 5 years?

SG: In 2016 France had 71,508 franchisees against 79,134 in 2021. Last year, franchising represented 795,441 jobs and a turnover of €69 billion. The impact of Covid-19 led to a fall in the number of franchises in popular sectors such as personal goods, with 360 franchises in 2021. This is 5% less compared to 2019.  The evolution of mentalities and lifestyle habits is immediately reflected in commerce. The explosion of meal deliveries over the past year resulted in a 17.9% growth in franchise sales for a fast-food sector, reaching €6.39 billion with 6,916 points of sale in 2021, an increase of 8.4% compared to 2019. The great advantage of our Expo show is that in 4 days we offer an overview of the whole diversity of the French business.

You mention fast food… Which sectors are growing the fastest?

SG: There are two sectors that you don’t necessarily think about in franchising, but which have grown at all levels in 2021. Indeed, specialised concepts are performing very well. From this point of view, it is the property sector that is top for growth. This has been increasing for several years and continues to have the most dynamic growth, with a 13% increase in points of sale and a 17.4% increase in turnover for 2021.

It is true that when we talk about franchising, we often think of retail or restaurants. However, a second major trend in 2022 is the personal services franchise. As was the case for business services, which we imported from English-speaking countries, personal services developed particularly well in 2021, with an increase of 9.5% in the number of outlets and 5.2% in the number of brands. One example is Petit Fils, a French franchise for the care of the elderly.