Symbol groups have approached the British Franchise Association asking how they can make their offer more uniform. Business services director Simon Wise said the un-named groups told him they wanted to apply franchise principles to their businesses. Symbol groups including Costcutter and Spar denied they were about to become franchise operators and insisted their business models were working well. Michael Treacy, chief strategic officer of US venture group Gen3 Partners, said: "Symbol groups are better than independent stores, but franchises give you so much more." - See feature, p32 {{NEWS }}