Franchising in Italy: almost 29 million euros the total turnover in 2021, up by +6.7% compared to 2020
Franchising is a business model destined to grow in Italy, despite the economic crises. This is the phrase that best summarizes the results of the latest Assofranchising Italy 2022 Report – Structures, Trends and Scenarios, which maps the evolution of franchising in Italy and represents the state of the art of this constantly evolving market. The Assofranchising 2022 Report represents a healthy and growing sector, despite the aftermath of the pandemic. Franchising is still the right choice for those who show a strong desire for entrepreneurship, but also a safe place of confrontation, where they can team up even in the most complex situations. In particular, the Report shows that franchising employees in Italy in 2021 grew by 4.7% compared to 2020. But there is also a growing number of operating brands and points of sale, especially in large-scale distribution (GDO).
1. Franchising in Italy: an all-round growth
According to the latest Assofranchising Italy 2022 Report – Structures, Trends and Scenarios – which maps the evolution of franchising in Italy and represents the state of the art of this constantly evolving market – the turnover of franchised stores in Italy records an important increase in 2021.
In fact, turnover in 2021 amounted to € 28,867 million, with a growth, compared to 2020, of +6.7%, which almost reflects the trend of Italian GDP.
After the contraction that occurred in 2020 due to the pandemic (-103), the number of operating signs in Italy returns to grow by 78 units between 2021 (955) and 2020 (877).
This positive trend is also reflected in the increase in franchised stores in Italy, which in 2021 stood at 59,849 (+4.7% compared to 2020).
The recovery of the market, the reopening of some stores closed in 2020, the increase in consumer confidence, combined with the desire to try their hand at entrepreneurial activity, have led to a growth of almost 5% (+10,608 employees) compared to 2020 of the total number of employees, who are 238,194.
2. Large-scale distribution (GDO):a very good result
If on the one hand the opening of new stores has led to a growth in employment in the sector, on the other, already active realities have carried out an optimization of the staff in the store.
Among the best performing sectors, and up by two percentage points compared to 2020, there is the large-scale retail trade (GDO). This segment accounts for 36% of the total turnover of the franchise with a turnover of almost € 10,452 million, followed by clothing (€ 7,348 million) and services (€ 3,944 million).
The turnover forecasts for 2022 of franchised stores are also positive, since there is an average growth of +3.6%, driven by the beauty (+7.5%) and home (+7.3%) product sectors.
3. Franchising: the features of the network
In Italy there are 955 networks active in franchising. The North-West area of Italy ranks first in terms of number of Franchisors (353), followed by the North-East (190), the Centre (189), the South and Islands (193), and abroad (30).
In the top 3 of the most represented sectors there is that of services (259 networks), followed by clothing (191) and catering (160).
The franchised stores in 2021 are 59,849, with a record of Lombardy (9,781 equal to 16% of the total), followed by Lazio (6,562 equal to 11% of the total) and Sicily (5,325 equal to 9% of the total).
The most represented product sector is that of services (16,082 points of sale), followed by clothing (15,090 points of sale) and large-scale distribution (GDO) (7,976 points of sale).
4. The identikit of the franchisee
In 2021, franchisees continue to be mostly male figures; but the share, compared to the previous year, decreases by 5 percentage points (57% vs 62%). The percentage of female presence stands at 43%, an increase in 2020 and 2019.
This is a much higher share than the national figure of female-led production activities, equal to 22%. A fact that testifies how the formula of entrepreneurship in affiliation is particularly attractive for women who choose self-employment.
The sectors where women outperform men are clothing and beauty (59% vs 41%) and home (55% vs 45%). This is a share that will increase in the next 3 years, for 60% of respondents.
Considering the age group, franchisees are profiles that, in most cases, belong to the range between 36 and 45 years (59% among men and 61% among women).
5. Technological innovation
The % share of e-commerce turnover in the brand’s total turnover grew from 6.6% in 2020 to 7.5% in 2021. Compared to 2020, for 67% of respondents, the turnover from the e-commerce channel was growing in 2021.
Avv. Valerio Pandolfini
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The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is not to be considered an exhaustive examination of the various issues, nor is it intended to express an opinion or provide legal advice. Specific legal advice must be provided with regard to individual cases.