About First Franchise
Cultivating lasting profitable business relationships
First Franchise was established in 2004 to bring together expert retailers and garden centres, with the object of ‘weather proofing’ the garden centre business by developing them into retail destinations.
Garden Centres in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s sold mainly horticultural products and were consequently very ‘weather dependant’. Their main trading periods were March to June and three weeks at Christmas but they had difficulty budgeting year or year because of the unpredictable weather patterns, which significantly affected sales. Having owned and operated garden centres himself, Keith McIntyre (First Franchise Managing Director) was well aware of how weather dependant garden centres were and how difficult it was to budget and plan with such volatility from year to year.
He successfully developed a concession model on his own garden centre in Northamptonshire, to ‘weather proof’ the business and again as Managing Director of Great Gardens of England based at Syon Park in London. In 1998 the Syon Park based business was sold to Wyevale and he was asked to join them to develop the concession model for the group. During the next six years Wyevale was established as one of the largest retail concession operators in the UK and now the group is recognised as one of the UK’s major Landlords.
First Franchise has been responsible for bringing the majority of the large retail brands into the garden centre market and has played its part in establishing garden centres into retail destinations. Follow the link to learn more about the history of garden centre concessions.
First Franchise offers a complete service to all clients whether existing concessions, new companies to the market or garden centres looking for concession advice. From initial feasibility study and evaluation, through to identifying the right business partners and production of documentation, the First Franchise service is wide-ranging and comprehensive.