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The off-licence chain, which aims to franchise around 600 of its Thresher and The Local stores, was admitted to the national organisation this week after meeting all the bfa's standards based membership criteria.

Thresher's franchise is open to both staff and members of the public and is the first time that the brand has offered existing, profitable off-licence stores for franchise in the UK.

Membership of the bfa is a clear indication of Thresher's commitment to 'good' ethical franchising. Fyl Newington, franchise development manager for the Thresher Group, was delighted to have met the association's standards.

'The franchise element of the Thresher Group is a very exciting aspect of the business and we are delighted to have this recognised by the bfa,' he said.

'The response has been fantastic so far and I am sure the bfa's accreditation will only serve to help this in the future.'

Dan Archer from the bfa added: 'The most dynamic thing about this sector (franchising) is that new concepts are always being developed. We are delighted to welcome a major brand such as Thresher's into the association and their focus on achieving bfa membership is a very positive indicator.'

Under the Thresher Group franchise system, franchisees make an initial investment of £20,000, plus the stock value, to take over the store and run it as their own business. Thresher provides a franchisee with full training and business support from experienced Thresher business managers and they benefit from one of retailing's strongest brands. The move comes just months after the value of the UK franchise industry broke the £10 billion barrier.

Thresher Group is the UK's leading independent specialist drinks retailer. The group currently owns around 2,000 shops and serves over 150 million customers a year.Thresher Group is backed by Terra Firma, the European private equity firm.

In return for the initial investment, Thresher franchisees will acquire an on-going business for 10 years, trading under a national brand with all the shop fittings and equipment needed to operate the store. Franchisees will receive full training and business support from experienced Thresher business managers, as well as have access to a unique business management system, specifically designed by the group to support the franchise scheme.


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