We have just finished a banner year in franchising with growth in a variety of different segments of the industry. While 2018 saw the continued growth of established areas of franchising, it also showed the emergence of a handful of new trends that are poised for significant expansion in 2019. There are 4 segments that I believe are set to take off this year as a result of outstanding customer demographics and well positioned franchisors.
Growing Diversity of Boutique Fitness Options Expands the Market
Not too long ago, “diversity” at a gym meant that the facility added a new rowing machine to the mix. More recently, the fitness world has responded wonderfully to the growing buying power of the millennial generation by offering a growing variety of fitness options to fit what millennials are seeking – specialty, high intensity, group class-based fitness.
This started as simply providing “boutique” options which specialized in one variety of old-line fitness activities – kick boxing, yoga or interval training. Within the past year, we have seen an exciting expansion of this option as franchisors have developed unique franchise models around popular fitness activities that have not been franchised previously – rowing, stretch and dance as examples.
These new fitness alternatives are engaging with segments of the population who previously shunned the typical gym options. In short, the fitness franchisors continue to expand their addressable market and to help more people find fun ways to stay fit!
Increasing Focus on Senior Living Related Services
For an entire generation, we have been hearing repeatedly about the impact that the again of the Baby Boomer generation would have on the economy. The first impact that we have started to experience in depth has been within the workforce. As Baby Boomers have started to move out of full-time employment and into early retirement, it has created for companies the challenge of determining how to fill the roles that are being left by industry experts with decades of experience.
As daunting as that challenge has been for employers, an even larger challenge is emerging today related to senior living. As the Baby Boomers continue to age, there is be a swelling number of families working through changes in living situations for these seniors. Whether driven by changes in health or lifestyle choice, many Boomers are moving into senior independent living, assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, some on a transitional basis and others on a long-term basis. This change is only beginning today and will grow by leaps and bounds for the next 20 years!
To address these changing circumstances, we have started to see a variety of businesses rise to the challenge. Companies have developed around senior living transitions, home mobility solutions and senior activity centers. All these options are present today and will have the opportunity to expand rapidly in the future as the market grows and needs continue to evolve.
Beauty Services for Men (yes, you read that correctly)
An ongoing trend for the past 15 years has been the increase of specialty beauty businesses moving into suburban strip centers and urban walking malls. Brands such as Hand & Stone, European Wax Center, Deka Lash and Frenchies have become commonplace across the country by providing their core services to primarily a female client base.
However, franchisors have started to realize that the other half of the US market contains millions of potential customers who are interested in health and beauty as well. Franchisors have started to develop franchise brands that focus on providing beauty related services to men. The services offered within these salons range from services as simple as haircuts and beard trims to massage, nail and other grooming services.
This industry segment is in its infancy today and there is a MASSIVE underserved marketplace that provides a significant opportunity for capture market share in the short-term and pave the path for long-term client loyalty.
Another notable trend over the past few years has been the continuing growth of dual income households. The growth in dual income households has been driven by an economy that is near full employment, a more educated workforce seeking to continue career advancement while starting a family and the economic need for two incomes in many households. These dynamics have created an expanding need for a larger number of child care providers and more creative solutions within the space.
The market has responded to this growing need. We have seen an emergence of several new players within the early childhood space providing a range of child care solutions and pre-school services. Further, there has been a notable expansion within the in-home care segment with growth in the nanny and babysitting services market as well.
These trends should become increasingly evident in the next few years as the millennial generation continues to start and expand their families while wanting to maintain career and family balance.
Do you want to learn more about specific franchise alternatives in any of these areas? Chris Cynkar can help you to explore any of these in more depth. You can reach Chris at 412-877-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.