Further increasing its global expansion to solidify its spot as the leader in the visual communications industry, FASTSIGNS® International Inc., the worldwide franchisor for the more than 550 FASTSIGNS sign, graphics and visual communications centers, has signed master franchise agreements for growth to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and North Africa.
Expansion will be led by Hamdi Osman, chairman of Solitaire IGT and former senior vice president of FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa. Further enhancing the company’s presence in the Middle East, Osman will open 12 locations in the UAE under the agreement. In North Africa – specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya – Osman plans to open the first center in 2014 and an additional 24 locations under the agreement.
Osman will own and operate franchise locations; under the master franchise agreement, he also has the rights to sub-franchise FASTSIGNS across the UAE and North Africa market. World Franchise Associates (WFA) facilitated the franchise deal between FASTSIGNS and Osman.
The sign, graphics and visual communications franchisor today has nearly 25 centers in Canada and 40-plus in six other countries including the U.K., Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Saudi Arabia as well as Australia, where centers operate as SIGNWAVE. Most recently, FASTSIGNS has expanded its Australian presence with a master franchise agreement with SIGNWAVE’s two top franchisees, Leo Baker and Dean Rowland, and corporate management consultant Linda Sultmann; this new master franchisee will focus on increased business and profit margins for existing locations as well as expand the brand throughout the country with new centers.
FASTSIGNS Chief Executive Officer Catherine Monson said, “There is strong demand for our products and services in both developed and developing countries. FASTSIGNS helps its customers inform, direct and sell more, a need every business has.”
Through its targeted growth strategy, FASTSIGNS plans to open upwards of 50 locations each year for the next 3 to 5 years across the globe, entering 10 new markets. The company has specifically identified Central and South America, Quebec, India, the Middle East and Europe as growth areas that have large business-to-business (B2B) sectors with a need for its services.
“We are actively pursuing master franchisees or area developers to expand FASTSIGNS internationally into new markets,” stated Mark Jameson, executive vice president of franchise support & development for FASTSIGNS. “With these partnerships, we share the company’s dominant brand name and proven business model in the visual communication industry and access to the latest technology, along with endless marketing resources and benefits.”
As part of its expansion efforts, FASTSIGNS will be exhibiting at the International Franchise Expo (IFE), taking place June 19-21 at the Javits Center in New York City, to meet with prospective domestic and international franchise partners.