Yorkshire-based Expat Shopping is developing a franchising model after successfully expanding its online business into a bricks and mortar operation.
Expat, which was set up three years ago by Richard Finch and business partner Simon Aldrich, started as a website enabling expats to order US and British favourites from Marmite to Hershey Bars. The site is now up and running in more than 100 countries and is turning over over £800,000 annually.
The company moved into bricks and mortar retailing nine months ago and now runs five c-stores trading under the Expat Shopping fascia in Germany and the Netherlands. The stores are set to turn over £3m in total this year. Goods are delivered to the company's warehouse in York and shipped overseas by third party hauliers.
Finch and Aldrich are now looking for franchisees interested in setting up shop in France, Germany, Portugal and Spain. "We have nine franchisees likely to come on board by the end of the year," said Finch. "Paris is an opportunity now that M&S has pulled out."
Franchisees would be provided with an EPoS system, PR and marketing, instore merchandising material, and a package of special offers, he added. "Our experience with the five stores has helped us to develop a comprehensive franchise package with a fully supported logistics, marketing and business set-up structure. This makes it a great opportunity for expat entrepreneurs."
Establishing a franchise requires £60,000­£100,000 of funding, depending on store size, location and stock levels, said Finch, but investors could expect "significant and fast returns on investment".

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