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Franchise at NEW YORKER
NEW YORKER can be found in 46 countries around the world. Of these, nine countries are run as franchises. But what exactly does franchise mean and how can you imagine an international company? We asked regional sales manager Ludmilla Schultz and learned the following:
In which countries exactly does NEW YORKER work with franchise partners?
In the franchise sector, we are represented on various continents. Currently, we have 50 branches in 9 countries. As NEW YORKER, we are represented in the CIS region with Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and in the MENA region with Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, the Arab Emirates and Qatar. 

What are the differences in servicing franchise stores as opposed to other stores? 
Our activities are based on the so-called "bible", the franchise agreement. This defines in concrete terms all the tasks, obligations and rights that must be implemented and complied with by both parties. In the cooperation, it is particularly important that the trust and cooperation between the respective partner and NEW YORKER function smoothly. A particular challenge here is the sometimes considerable cultural differences between the individual partners. Adjusting to these differences on a daily basis often requires patience and persistence. One or the other partner does not lack self-confidence either. I believe that it is precisely in the above-mentioned points that the decisive difference lies - but also the special attraction - compared to looking after your own branches. 

And why does NEW YORKER work with franchise partners?
The reason is certainly easy to name, and lies in the balanced risk strategy of our company. Especially in countries where market conditions are difficult, for example, it was wise to develop the market with local partners. They know the pitfalls of the country, are anchored in the structures and are more familiar with market customs.
And so far, this approach has always proved to be the right one. That's why I particularly remember our second franchise branch of our company in Russia in 2005 - in what I consider one of the most beautiful European cities: Moscow (Russia). The second of what would end up being over 40 branches in Russia. The fact that I was part of this success story makes me especially proud. 

What conditions must be met for a franchise branch?
The basic conditions for a franchise branch are hardly any different from those for an own-account business. Here, too, the decisive factors are the location, the site and the floor space. As in our own business, we want large stores in a prime location with high sales potential. 

What is the process like with a new franchise partner? Are there any difficulties?
Probably the most important decision when entering the market in a new country is and remains the selection of the right franchise partner. The process of selection can sometimes take a little longer. But as always, patience usually pays off. 
During the selection process, we check very thoroughly. The criteria set by NEW YORKER must be adhered to. These include financial strength, market knowledge or experience in the retail business.  
Together, we discuss possible expansion targets and specific properties. If everything fits together, then it's time to draw up the franchise agreement. This is not an easy process, but it is important to bring together the interests of both sides. Once that's done, the biggest reward is the first branch opening in the country - that motivates everyone!

What are your main tasks as regional sales manager at NEW YORKER?
My tasks are very varied. Over the years, new and interesting topics have been added all the time. Currently, my main tasks include sales management of our stores in the CIS and MENA regions. This also includes partner management in the partner countries of the CIS region. I am also involved in other additional NEW YORKER projects. It's always exciting and great to see how NEW YORKER continues to optimize itself to meet the constant new challenges.

What was an exciting or memorable experience with a franchise partner?
What I remember most is the reopening of our Moscow branch in Russia. Everything was ready. The store was shining, the merchandise sorted, the excitement was great. We were ready to perform the opening ceremony. Our owner Mr. Knapp, our managing director Dr. Kall, as well as Mr. Horn and many NEW YORKER executives had traveled from Germany especially for this purpose. The roller shutter was about to be raised and suddenly there was a loud crack. At the decisive moment, the electric motor gave up the ghost. What now?  A hand crank was quickly found and Mr. Knapp personally cranked the roller shutter by hand with the support of some executives. This image will remain in my memory forever. But also the feeling "together we can do anything"! That is exactly what NEW YORKER is! By the way, the sales in this branch were simply gigantic!

Are there any other franchise branches planned for the future?
Of course, no one is stopping us!  We are growing in existing markets, such as Saudi Arabia. Three new branches are planned there. But we also want to continue in new countries. Among other things, we are currently planning and preparing to enter the Oman market.
With the aim of expanding further, gaining new customers with each new branch and continuing to make our NEW YORKER successful, I am already looking forward to the new challenges. 

Thank you for your time, dear Ludmilla!