franchise business model economic crisis covid-19 bordeaux

Franchising, the crisis-resistant business format

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The franchise has the wind in its sails in this time of economic crisis. This is also the subject of the next competition “Best Franchisees & Partners of France”. Organized by IREF, the Federation of European Partnership and Franchise Networks, it is preparing to open for a 34th edition. The opportunity to highlight the wide variety of models and networks of independent organized commerce. Partnership, concession, cooperative, brand license, commission-affiliation… This year, the competition rewards professionals who have been able to adapt to the constraints caused by Covid-19. Thus, the winners will join the 2,000 institutions already awarded since 1987.

franchised franchisor covid-19 crisis

Competition «Best franchisees & Partners of France», the organized trade in all its forms

The “Best Franchisees & Partners of France” competition highlights the most successful companies or companies that have implemented notable actions. Thus, the 2020 edition awarded prizes to 57 establishments from 41 different brands. As a recognized event, it was placed under the High Sponsorship of the Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno LE MAIRE.

Last year, Alain Afflelou received the highest distinction awarded by the IREF: the Grand Prix Jean-Paul Clément. An award he won for the second time (2010 and 2020). This prize is awarded to a great personality from the world of business, at the head of significant French brands. Thus, before 2020, it had been handed over to the management of Calzedonia / Intimissimi, Provalliance (Franck Provost), Leclerc, Le MEDEF, PSA, AirFrance, Club Med…

However, the competition awards prizes to very different companies and projects. Among its winners, we find vakom, Era Immobilier, Kusmi Tea, Pitaya, VousFinancer, Casino, Angel, Krys, Temporis, Ixina, Nature House…

An event to salute the resilience and innovation of brands to overcome the crisis

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, the IREP has focused its assistance on the new challenges of this system and of independent organized trade. The 2021 edition is also adapted for brands that have been able to find solutions to the constraints imposed by the health crisis.

solid network franchise

Networks wishing to participate can register until 25 June 2021. In addition to the possibility of exchanging with other partners and concepts, the “Best Franchisees & Partners of France” competition also offers significant visibility and media coverage to participating brands.

Specially redesigned for the strange period we are going through, the competition will seek to identify and reward managerial initiatives; reward innovation and creativity; welcome digitalisation actions; distinguish successful communication and marketing operations; or crown the best CSR decisions. In addition, the jury is interested in the economic and commercial performance of the establishments concerned, their territorial network, their local impact…

A real opportunity to give a high visibility to the networks, the evening of presentation of the trophies brings together decision-makers from the world of independent organized commerce and personalities from the economic world. In addition to the usual communication media forevents such as social networks, Youtube and the website, the ceremony will take place on the set of BFM Business. Enough to give a considerable echo to the brands present that day.

Candour, a model at the top to overcome crises?

To assess the ability of retailers to overcome the crisis, the FFF published a study of franchisees (2). It must be noted that their assessment of their network remains at a good level.

fff infographic covid-19 franchises
17th annual survey of the franchise, FFF, special Covid-19 crisis

Thus, 67% of them consider that they have endured the crisis better than an independent trader. For good reason, 93% believe that they are relatively well supported by the franchisor. This support involves either more regular communications (87%), the addition of new tools (58%), new customer services (44%) or more frequent meetings with other entrepreneurs (42%). Also, 6 months after the beginning of the crisis, 91% of them had already received a visit from a facilitator.

In addition to the steps taken by their network to pass the case, they have also shown initiative to find solutions at their scale. Indeed, 86% of them say they have taken measures, such as finding alternative distribution methods (40%).

FFF Show 2021, franchises attract attention

The French Franchise Federation brings together nearly 180 member networks selected on ethical criteria. As such, it alone represents 45% of French franchisees. As every year, the FFF makes its show in September. Thus, like the “Best Franchisees & Partners of France” competition, this event is an opportunity to feed exchanges between franchisors, entrepreneurs and investors.

Every year, the show of the French Franchise Federation (3) attracts more than 35,000 professionals. Which come from 101 different nationalities around 500 French and international franchises. In 2021, the Covid-19 crisis will not prevent the event from taking place. Indeed, registrations to exhibit are still current and the show displays more than 400 brands on the program.


  1. “Best franchisees and partners in France: registrations for the IREF competition are open”, press release of May 12, 2021
  2. “The franchise model, a factor of resilience in times of crisis”, FFF
  3. Franchise Expo Paris, the international franchise fair
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