Climb to the top with the specialists in height

Developing a specialist retail offering driven by stricter workplace safety legislation and growing demand from the building industry, L'Echelle Europeenne offers a Master Franchise opportunity for an entrepreneur seeking to develop a national network across Ireland.

L'Echelle Europeenne is a specialist retailer of ladders, staircases and scaffoldings, plus specialised equipment including made-to-measure, safety and lifting devices. The company has 60 franchised outlets established across Europe, in its domestic market France as well as international franchisees operating in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg, and is seeking suitable individuals or companies to bring its operations into the Republic of Ireland, as well as targeting the UK and Greece in its next stage of international expansion.

Established in 1981, the company granted its first franchise in 1990 in Toulouse and has gone on to achieve national expansion. Chairman Georges Morales reports that the company's global turnover is growing by 18 per cent annually and 'franchisees are noticing a very significant growth in turnover from one year to the next and they are aware that there is still much potential for development.'

He continues: 'The strength and success of our concept lies in creating a one-stop-shop for products that enable us to climb, work, move about or remain stationary at height in complete safety. Above a certain height an individual looks for assurances from the equipment they are using and will no longer purchase from just anywhere. The complexity of these products necessitates advice and assistance, which creates an opportunity to provide added value to our customers by knowing their needs and supplying the best technical solutions.'

With tightening building regulations requiring more reliable products from employers, L'Echelle Europeenne franchisees will provide vital product knowledge in helping their customers select the right tools and equipment, all in a very fragmented and incomplete market. 'Thanks to a considerable purchasing power in our sector of activity, L'Echelle Europeenne offers the consumer an incomparable choice at very competitive prices,' says Georges. 'Whether they are looking to rent or buy, our customers are assured that all our products (the majority of which are sourced from the European Union) carry a guarantee of solidity, reliability and ease of use.'

The retail concept requires premises covering 250 to 350 metres squared and situated on the outskirts of a town with easy access. Franchisees will benefit from the backup of an international franchisor, which continues to conduct ongoing research into new products and new suppliers, and regularly negotiate with suppliers to provide the best value for its growing network of retail franchisees and their customers.

To spearhead its development in the Irish market L'Echelle Europeenne is looking for a Master Franchisee with experience in supplying to the building sector, with good knowledge of the domestic economy and building market. The Master Franchisee is expected to open two pilot outlets within three years. Once the concept is proven in the marketplace the Master Franchisee can then begin recruiting sub-franchisees, while continuing to open additional outlets as desired.