With a rapidly growing tourism industry, increasingly growing building and construction sector and the welcome influx of foreign investment, Libya is beginning to be seen as a favorable choice for international brands and franchise partners.
Cinnabon, a cinnamon bun chain was the first franchise to open in Tripoli in 2012, co-branded with Carvel Ice Cream. Franchise owners realized that they would be able to filter a strong demand for their product in the country whilst achieving high brand awareness. Giving Libya’s proximity to existing markets, they felt opening a store here was an obvious choice and were aware that their products would fit with local preferences and taste buds. There has been a pent up demand by Libyan consumers for international brands which has led to great confidence in franchisees opening international stores of well-known brands in Libya.
Libya is currently undergoing an education revolution with regards to global markets and business dealings, which means that nationals who are being more exposed to international dealings, coupled with the financial ability and preferably related experience make for desirable franchise partners to foreign investors.
Although Cinnabon has been the first US brand to enter the country other chains are starting to follow suit and include the likes of top of the range clothing stores, much needed supermarkets, international hotel chains and even fitness center franchises. In fact there have been a number of high end British chains present for some time, including Marks & Spencer and Dune. Although many of the upmarket stores are present in the capital, catering to both locals and the influx of tourists alike, some are beginning to move into other densely populated areas of the country.
In an effort to spread well-known brands in the country to local investors who wish to take on the franchises of famous international brands across a number of retail sectors, Libya will be holding an exhibition, Franchise Libya. Having all the brands present under one roof will allow investors the opportunity to learn more about the companies and their possibilities should they become involved with the parent companies. Further, Libya is taking great pains to provide education for businesses with regards to issues such as Libyan business culture and language barriers.