“The lockdown was worse:” Franchises market fully recovered

According to the catalog, the market for franchises in Russia had lost up to 40% of demand by the end of February 2022. The slump was comparable to March 2020, when COVID restrictions began to be introduced. However, unlike the last crisis, the recovery was immediate this time around.


The numbers of applications to buy franchises in various industries rebounded as early as by March 7. At present, the general demand is only 8% below the March 2021 level. Moreover, with certain categories of franchises, it actually showed growth in the first quarter of 2022:

Franchises over 1 million rubles became 22% more popular compared to the beginning of 2021.

Demand for manufacturing franchises and companies rose by 27%, and for online order pickup service franchises, by 28%.

The popularity of the medical niche continues to grow. The demand for medical franchises such as clinics, diagnostic labs, cosmetic services and medical procedure offices has increased by 48% compared to the January-March 2021 level. Pharmacy franchises added 28%.

There was a slight increase in the category of children’s goods and services franchises; companies offering such opportunities began to receive 4% more applications.

On the other hand, interest in clothing and underwear retail franchises somewhat subsided, with demand plummeting by an average of 23%. There was a noticeable drop in interest in coffee shop franchises – people have become 26% less interested in this type of business. The demand for fast food and street food franchises fell by 23%.

In a word, the reasons for this market’s rapid recovery and growing demand are as follows.

  1. With foreign brands suspending activities or leaving the Russian market, Russian companies become more active trying to fill the vacated niches.
  2. The government has announced generous support for new businesses.
  3. Many Russians who have lost their jobs due to the crisis are joining this market, seeing running their own business as an opportunity to improve their finances.
  4. Domestic franchise networks, which have some experience and success stories from the pandemic, are active in the Russian regions.
  5. The growing level of trust in franchise brands that have remained in business no matter what.
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