Editor: April edition highlights

Speaking to franchisors in the retail sector for my industry analysis article A new beginning for retail franchising? (see page 16) I'was struck by the enthusiasm and optimism expressed. This chimes well with the overall sense prevalent in many sectors of the franchise industry that are going full-bore with their franchise expansion strategies in 2009. There is an excitement in certain quarters where the recession is not creating a roadblock to growth, such as franchises specialising in essential services, low cost alternatives and adversely growing products such as residential lettings (which is picking up the slack in the property sector - see Northwood's appraisal on page 24).

This excitement is being driven by a very real surge in interest in franchise opportunities, an occurrence we've noted through an increase in registrations on our website www.TheFranchiseMagazine.net equivalent to 200 per cent of the same period's registrations last year. Job insecurity has traditionally been a driver of interest in the franchise industry but the scale and suddenness of the current upswing is remarkable.

If job insecurity is the reason you picked up this edition of The Franchise'Magazine, you may be interested in our Rising out of Redundancy special focus (starting on page 25) with advice from industry experts and case studies on franchise owners that used redundancy as an opportunity to reassess their goals and build a new future with a franchise.

If you're coming at franchising from the other angle, that of having a successful business and wanting to develop it into a franchise, there's meat for you too in the form of our The Franchisor section starting on page 120.