Franchise industry details, trend data gaining accuracy.

Author:Wiseman, Edith
Position::EMERGING FRANCHISORS
 
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FRAN Data research helps bring order to industry data chaos. Latest report shows 377 new concepts launched in just past three quarters.

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Before 2013 you might have (erroneously) concluded that franchising as a whole was performing much worse than it was actually. For years, the U.S. Small Business Administration struggled to capture accurate data on franchise brands. This was widely known, but because the information was convenient, it was also widely used. The problem stemmed in part from the inadequacy of the classification system.

But in 2013, the SBA moved towards correcting that system by adopting FRANdata's FRUNS identifier, which applies a unique code to franchise brands.

FRUNS ensures one number per franchise system tracks brand name changes and other evolutions of a brand referencing the same system, i.e. UPS Store, Mailboxes Etc., MBE, The Mailboxes Etc., and The UPS Store all previously had separate identifiers. A small change at a glance, but it brought order to chaos and over time will allow more accurate representation of franchise industry performance.

NEW ENTRANTS TRACKED

Tracking franchise brands provides visibility into new industry entrants. FRANdata produces the quarterly New Concept Report, which identifies new brands, their business models and 25 key data points for each. FRANdata distributes the report to subscribers, but the report's compilers would also like to share some recent trends with the readers of Franchising World, and will do so on a regular basis in the future.

On average there are one to two new brands each day, with the number varying based on many factors. In the past three quarters, 377 new concepts began franchising. Three industries saw the most activity: lodging, health and fitness, and sit-down restaurants, all of which are closely tied to rises in disposable income and broader improvements in the national economy.

HEALTH & FITNESS

The health and fitness industry added 52 new brands, consisting of 20 new fitness centers. There are an increasing number of specialized fitness centers in the sector. Some of these are focused on specific group exercise: CycleBar and StarCycle offer cycling; Omni Fight Club and TapouT Fitness host martial arts and kickboxing classes.

Other new brands feature proprietary methods or technology to differentiate themselves. ChaiseFitness uses an overhead system of bungees suspended on steel trusses in their "Reinvention Method." Specialty...

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