4 international franchises that landed Down Under in 2019

By Nick Hall | 16 Dec 2019 View comments

Australia is a culture of rich diversity, with endless opportunities on offer for aspiring businesses. It’s part of the reason so many international franchises have made their way Down Under.

The last 12 months were no exception. Big name brands across, health, fitness, fast-food, education and business services hit Aussie shores for the first time in 2019.

Some were much-anticipated global icons, whereas others were small-players hoping to make a big splash. Irrespective of size or sector, all international franchises share a common goal; to break into the lucrative, but often challenging Aussie market.

Here’s four international franchises that fared the franchise sea and made their way to Australia in 2019.

1. BLAM! Websites and Apps

UK online technology franchise BLAM! Websites and Apps kicked off 2019 with a bumper announcement, the concept was headed Down Under.

Following successful expansion across the US, South Africa and Canada, the at-home business concept targeted Australia as a key growth area.

BLAM! partners are able to earn an uncapped income from selling websites, apps and other marketing products developed by the company’s in-house design team, with the model lending itself to a variety of prospective entrepreneurs.

2. Mathnasium

The world’s leading math-only tutoring and learning centre for children, Mathnasium also landed on Aussie shores this year.

The US tutor giant started franchising way back in 2003 and has amassed an enormous network of tutors, business owners and clients. Mathnasium Director Ratika Khandelwal said that since launching in NSW earlier this year, the concept is gathering steam.

“We are hitting enrolment milestones on par with high performing centres in Canada and the United States, so we are pleased with our progress,” she said.

“We realise the immense potential in the education and learning industry and it is proving its worth early on.  Starting the franchise in Australia has certainly exceeded our expectations, to the point we are opening the second Mathnasium centre later this month.”

According to Khandelwal, the brand plans to launch 10 to 15 new centres across NSW and the ACT by 2021, with expansion in other states to follow.

3. Milksha

With more than 240 outlets across Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau, bubble tea franchise Milksha (also known as Milkshop) is far from a franchise amateur.

In October, the bustling business opened an inaugural outlet in Melbourne, offering it’s unique blend of sustainable, tapioca-pearl tea. Peter Huang, Milkshop International general manager said Melbourne was the perfect place to launch a full-scale Aussie expansion strategy, thanks to its culinary reputation.

“We chose Melbourne to launch our flagship store because it is no doubt the foodie capital of Australia,” he said.

“We will steadily and firmly grow the business in Australia like we have done in other countries instead of spreading out too fast and overlooking our product quality. To grow the brand well in Australia, we pay attention to consumers’ experiences in our store.”

4. Planet Fitness

Back in November, iconic US gym chain Planet Fitness announced plans to take the Aussie market by storm.

Signing two partnerships, one with area developer Bravo Fit Holdings, and another with local gym operator Dallas Rosekelly’s Galactic Fitness, plans were laid out to launch a minimum of 35 studios nationwide.

“Australia represents a unique opportunity to grow in a market that combines a favourable operational environment, consumer affinity for US brands, a desirable competitive landscape and an opportunity to develop a large fleet of clubs,” Ray Miolla, chief development office for Planet Fitness said.

The Planet Fitness Australia expansion kicked off with country’s first official ‘Judgement Free’ zones at Tuggerah and Gosford on the NSW Central Coast, with an additional location at Casula expected to open in 2020.

International franchises

With a curious consumer more eager to try new things than ever before, the Australia market is proving to be a high-value growth opportunity for international franchises.

From US and UK brands looking to extends their reach, to smaller Asian chains eager to crack a western market, Australia is often a favourable franchise frontier.

Which brands do you hope make the leap Down Under in 2020?