Italian building materials franchiser BigMat continues to expand its BigRent branded rental operation in Italy, with 20 of its 100 members now offering rental services in the counry and plans for a further ten to enlist during 2010.
Mauro Arosio, general services coordinator at BigMat, who is one of two people working full-time on expanding the rental stores in Italy, told IRN that the 20 current BigRent members are operating 30 rental stores in total and that the aim is to recruit a further 10 new members next year after a similar number of openings in 2009.
"Every day we are getting new enquiries [from BigMat members]", he said, speaing to IRN at the SAIE show in Bologna "In this period it is very difficult to sell equipment, but rental is more popular. People don't buy, they rent."
BigMat members have been renting equipment for around five years but it is only in the last two years that they have been operating under the BigRent brand."It's not realistic to expect all of our members to rent, but they are talking about it, so the other members are interested", said Mr Arosia. He told IRN that converting 60% of members would be an achievable target.
He said the BigMat members who had already started to rent were making good profits. The members have to invest in the rental fleet themselves - with start-up spending typically between €40000 and €250000 - and BigMat provides advice on what products to stock, on how to run a rental business as well as marketing and insurance services.
BigMat franchise members currently operate180 stores throughout Italy and the franchise is also active in Spain, France and Belgium.