By Sasha-Lee de Bod

The days of picking a location blindfolded by pin pointing to the area is over, we now have scientific methods to assist us with where we need to take our business next to be successful

It is interesting how various companies employ different methods when expanding or even choosing a new location for an outlet. The bigger franchises typically employ specific criteria pertaining to their brand requirements e.g. a food retailer will investigate variables such as:

  • Demographics
  • Foot traffic to the area
  • Access and proximity to major competitors
  • Size required for the outlet

Some of the smaller retailers use their internal instincts, and follow certain tenant anchors in the centre e.g. throughout the year the company might have realised that they achieve relatively good returns if they are close to i.e. Pick n Pay or Dischem
Choosing a site or location in an area you are familiar with is one thing, but choosing which area to expand into where you have no presence or knowledge is a completely different ball game, but there are scientific ways of determining where to go next

Why is a country development plan essential?

  • The franchisor needs to expand to the best possible areas and locations to ensure the best possible return on investment and maximising gains for franchisees
  • Helps determine the scope and viability of an area and how many franchisees can be accommodated
  • Determines what constitutes an outlet in terms of demographics and specific requirements for critical success factors e.g. number of economically active consumers per area
  • Controls and structures the growth of the franchise network – this ensures that the franchise support infrastructure can accommodate and support the growth effectively
  • Focuses on maximizing one area or province before entering a new one
  • Ensures better timing and planning – grow in manageable clusters
  • Estimates the total market potential and hence the potential number of stores that can be opened
  • Determines the ideal areas you would like to expand into i.e prioritise highest potential first
  • Determines the number of stores to be opened in one year in order to develop in manageable clusters
  • Gives Head Office goals and objectives to work towards

Scientific information is available

Franchising Plus works with Fernridge Consulting, a research consulting firm based in Johannesburg that assists with

  • demographic studies,
  • retail consulting and expenditure estimates
  • site evaluations
  • micro site analysis
  • gap analysis

through extensive analysis supported by exclusive data and high-end technology.

Their data centre has a vast amount of quality primary and secondary data that are constantly being improved through fieldwork, research and innovation. The data can assist franchisors with:

  • Demographic data
  • Various channels to access data
  • Existing African coverage
  • Customisable research
  • Reliable and accurate data
  • Gaining insight into unknown and new areas or markets
  • Mitigating risk

Franchising Plus works closely with Fernridge to assist franchisors with site assessments through the AfricaEye Online tool and also with country development plans. AfricaEye is an online portal containing captured Fernridge data that provides the ability to write reports. We can assist you by using the online system to draw the correct catchment area and applying principles such as:

  • The area being investigated
  • Demographic data of the area and the income range of your target market
  • Choosing the correct business categories
  • Applying potential market share per category being investigated
  • Comprehensive shopping centres and retailers in the area
  • We will also assist by applying trading density and developing a conclusion on the site to help you interpret the information.

The data set is very unique compared to other tools available due to census data that is augmented with aerial photography and a unique income classification method being used. The data used for this tool is sourced from Fernridge extensive experience and projects including:

  • Shopping centre research
  • Tested forecasts
  • Verifications


If you need assistance with your country development plan, please feel free to contact us. Deciding where you are going to next shouldn’t keep you up at night, we can help you make the decision based on scientific methods and extensive research. Contact us to find out more

Franchising Plus