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Posted: 20 Aug 2019
Estimated Read Time: in 7 minutes

Ableworld’s mission is to help customers live more comfortable and active lives as they get older

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With around 15 million of us aged over 60 in the UK and government predicting that in 10 years’ time almost 25 per cent of the population will be over the age of 65, there has never been a better time to enter one of the fastest growing sectors in today’s retail space.

Mike Williams’ struggle to find products for his elderly father led to the foundation of Ableworld in 2001. Mike found poorly packaged and highly priced goods sold from unattractive back street shops and established Ableworld to challenge and change the situation.

The company opened 10 stores before offering the model as a franchise opportunity and now has 35 outlets across the country - from Scotland to Southampton and Colchester to Cardiff. Ableworld’s target expansion over the next few years is 60-70 stores nationally, with at least 60 per cent of the total coming from franchisee owned outlets.

Unrivalled support

Ableworld franchisees come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including sales, retail, construction, the armed forces, teaching and various health professions. The company has a comprehensive training programme and franchisees benefit from unrivalled support from an experienced head office, which offers help, from arranging finance and finding premises, to accounting, marketing and recruitment.

The “training in the administrative aspect of running our own franchise and shop, and the extensive product training by Ableworld and many of the suppliers” impressed franchisees Stuart and Jacky Simpson from Ableworld Paisley. After launch and store opening, a team of roving business support managers provide across the board support.

Gerald Roper from Colchester, Ableworld Franchise of the Year 2018, appreciates the company’s “proven systems and processes, which take away a lot of the risk and worry from a start-up.”

As the largest mobility retailer in the country, Ableworld has significant trade advantages. Franchisees benefit from the unrivalled buying power of the group and from having access to all the support functions you would expect from an established retail chain.

Ethical and successful

Ableworld’s strategy from the beginning was to build a trustworthy brand. Southampton co-owner Jeff Newman says of his franchisee experience: “It has met all our expectations, especially the satisfaction we get from providing the right products for our customers.”

Jeff and his son Steve took over the Southampton franchise more than five years ago and in that time have increased annual turnover to more than £1 million.

The proven Ableworld franchise system, together with franchisees who combine a desire to help others with an enthusiasm to succeed, ambition and determination, creates an ethical and successful business, making a difference in the community. Ableworld continues to grow and aims to maintain its position as the number one mobility retailer in the UK.

At a glance Ableworld

Established: 2001
Number of franchised outlets: 35
Location of units: nationwide
Investment range: £75,000-£80,000
Minimum capital required: £30,000
Contact: franchise@ableworld.co.uk or 01270 613599 ableworld.co.uk

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