Ian Ritter is online content manager at GRS Group

Ian Ritter is online content manager at GRS Group

One of the most interesting conferences I have ever attended is the International Franchise Expo, which kicks off next week in New York City.

If you are a bit of a retail nerd, which I am, this convention is just the thing for you.

Many of the exhibitors at IFE are basically an incubator of ideas for new retail concepts, some of them which could become national chains. Current brands that have a major presence are also represented at the show.

One can see everything from new, and known (like Jimmy John’s), sandwich concepts, urgent-care facilities, garage modeling, childhood-education facilities, a ton of athletic ideas and countless other franchise opportunities.

Of course, all of these concepts aren’t going to work out in the long run, but you never know what the public will enjoy. For example, who thought a decade back that there would be several “better burger” chains expanding across the country?

On the international front, there are also franchise-partnership firms from foreign countries, as far afield as Morocco, that are looking to partner with domestic concepts, and bring them to their locales.

But what’s really interesting to see are the startups trying out new concepts alongside of major national brands, Sbarro, Del Taco, Ben & Jerry’s, and several more. All of these chains got their start somewhere, and one never knows what will end up hitting it big.

A majority of these, if they work out, will either be net-lease properties or in strip shopping centers. And new tenants are especially welcome now, with the store closings announced so far this year, even these concepts aren’t exactly credit-tenant ventures, at least yet.

GRS Group’s various due diligence services are especially on the forefront when it comes to the types of properties that will house these hopefully expanding services.