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The European Franchise Trade Mission, which will include representatives from Blimpie, Pro Golf, MyGym, Quikdrop and Foot Efx, is extending an invite to all European investors with an interest in developing chains with proven US franchise brands in their own countries to attend meetings in Brussles on 17th & 18th October.

The trade mission is being organised by UK franchise consultancy and publishing group Franchise Development Services, and support for the event is being given by the US Commercial Service and the European Franchise Federation, which hosts its annual conference in Brussels alongside the trade mission.

Paul Cairnie, FDS Associate Publisher of European Franchising, who is driving the initiative, said: "These brands are all proven franchising successes in the highly competitive US market, and are serious about establishing their networks in Europe. The EF Trade Mission is a unique event which is an exciting opportunity to meet the main drivers of these brands' franchise expansion, who are each travelling up to 18,000km to meet Europe's future franchise partners."

BLIMPIE Director of Franchise Development Tina O'Toole, who is travelling from its head office in Atlanta, Georgia (7,083km to Brussels) for the trade mission, said: "Blimpie has established almost 1,600 franchised restaurants across the US, and has expanded into five international markets with further Master Franchises signed or in negotiation for five more countries including the UK and Germany. A recent re-branding, restaurant re-design and updated menu - which now features hot panini-grilled ciabatta bread sandwiches - has reinvigorated the brand and led us to accelerate our development of European markets."

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada (8,678km to Brussels), FOOT EFX Founder and CEO Steven Lebow will attend the event to discuss his retail concept, which specialises in arch supports, comfort shoes and foot care products. He said: "Foot Efx has expanded to more than 50 stores and is now aggressively developing the US market through Regional Master Franchisees. We provide franchisees with a unique business model that makes us the leader in the foot care industry."

PRO GOLF, which is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan (6,343km to Brussels), will be represented at the meetings by President and CEO Brian Donnelly, who said: "Ranked number one in its sector in the US by Entrepreneur magazine, Pro Golf has established 135 golf retail stores across the US, Canada and Ireland since its foundation over 43 years ago. Having identified prime franchise territories, based on local market conditions, Pro Golf is expanding across Europe and is searching for investors with passions for golf and success in business."

Travelling to the event from Costa Mesa, California (9,066km to Brussels), will be QUIKDROP Director of International Sales Sascha Neubauer, who said: "Buying on eBay is relatively easy, selling is more complicated. Our franchise model allows customers to provide quality listings, prompt reply to email questions, payment processing and shipping services. Established in 2003, we have quickly expanded our network of US franchisees to 70 locations and have also opened 30 international stores in Canada, Australia and China."

Also based in California (Sherman Oaks, 9,040km to Brussels), My Gym Vice President - International Development Erik Mallon will be attending meetings on the trade mission. He said: "With greater awareness of the need for facilities providing children's health and fitness programmes due to rising levels of obesity in youngsters, the children's fitness industry offers a vast potential marketplace in Europe. Developing childrens fitness, confidence and self-esteem through a range of structured, age-appropriate classes incorporating dance, games, gymnastics, sports and other original activities, My Gym has a worldwide network of 152 outlets in eight countries and is planning to expand its operations throughout all European markets."

Sam Dhir, from the US Commercial Service, which is the trade promotion arm of the Federal Government with a mission to promote export of goods and services, added: "The commercial staff at our embassies will help the US Franchisors participating in this event to meet with pre-qualified/pre-screened potential Franchisees interested in their concept."

The Trade Mission will conclude with the Milan exhibition on the 24th October. Investors interested in meeting the European Franchise Trade Mission, and other events worldwide, should call Paul Cairnie on +44 1 603 620 301, cell +44 798 058 0704 or email

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Franchise Development Services (FDS) specialises in providing advice and guidance to prospective and existing franchisees and franchisors worldwide through its network of 14 franchisees and associates in Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia. The company also publishes a variety of magazines including European Franchising, The Franchise Magazine and The United Kingdom Franchise Directory.


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