About Franchising in Poland

Since the beginning of the 1990s, Poland has been experiencing profound economic and social changes. The liberalisation of the economy has allowed the starting-up and running of companies almost in complete freedom, and consequently, the last 20 years have seen rapid development – both private and industrial. This expansion is based mainly on the numerical growth of private sector businesses and on their dynamism. With close to 40 million inhabitants, Poland is the largest and most populous of the countries that joined the European Union in 2004. The Polish market has come to be considered as one of the most dynamic emerging markets in Europe, with a GDP increase in the difficult time of crisis in the last years. Thanks to the reforms, Poland has started its own development in franchising. The first international franchising systems started to invest in the Polish market at the beginning of the 90s. The first to enter the market was adidas in 1990. Entering the market soon after adidas were McDonald’s and the French systems of Yves Rocher and Jean Louis David, followed shortly by Kodak and others like BP, Intermarché, Spar, Mail Boxes Etc. and Subway. The mid 90s saw the start-up of the first domestic franchising systems.

According to the latest survey conducted by the ARSS franchise consulting company at the beginning of 2012, there are close to 1000 franchising systems operating in Poland. In the last two – three years one could see new developments in the Polish franchise market. The basic change involved a sharp increase in the number of new franchisors entering the market. That proves that the popularity of franchising, construed as a method of running one’s own business, is on the rise. Poland’s EU accession and growing interest in the market on the part of foreign chain stores have also contributed to a greater number of networks. In last years the number of systems operating in business format franchising overcame the number of product distribution franchising systems indicating that the Polish market became a mature franchise market. Most of the franchisors operate in clothing & shoes retail, gastronomy, grocery, banking, financial and insurance services. These sectors constitute a 60% share in the franchise market.