Master Franchisor gives his perspective of this leading Health & Wellness franchise

May 17, 2012

John Linehan, the Managing Director of Foot Solutions Ireland & UK, reveals why he was attracted to the Foot Solutions brand and how their plans for growth just keep growing.

“Over the last 25 years I have gained extensive experience in sales, marketing and business development. Prior to running my own marketing consultancy, I held various functions for companies such as Musgrave, Esat Digifone / O2, Bridgestone Firestone, and Digicel Jamaica, and worked across industries such as telecoms, FMCG, tyres, transport and construction. I have also built specific experience in the retail sector by working with individuals, franchisees and retail chains.

“I’d always wanted to develop and grow my own brand so I’m excited about the prospect of building a very successful business. My experience in franchising in particular has helped me see how to achieve this. I spent about three years researching different franchise models so when I finally came across Foot Solutions, it simply ticked all the boxes and made absolute sense to me. Key factors for my decision were as follows:

  • Health and wellness arena
  • Core customer 40+
  • Needs based business
  • Little or no competition
  • Aging population
  • Growth of diabetes and obesity
  • High margins vs low overheads
  • The fact that people are becoming more and more health conscious
  • Lack of information / solutions available for people with foot pathologies and biomechanical issues

“In addition, this business is scalable with the right level of investment, allowing franchisees the opportunity to own their own successful retail chain. This was, and still is, a key motivator.”

Foot Solutions is a speciality retail franchise focusing on comfort shoes, custom arch supports and foot care products. They carry some of the world’s finest comfort shoes with extra depth and width. Foot Solutions was founded in Atlanta Georgia in 2000 and has fast become the world’s leading health and wellness franchise. For John, the fact that this was a business at the beginning of its life cycle and with little or no competition was fantastic.

“Foot Solutions was a world leader that had yet to be launched in the UK and Ireland – an incredible opportunity. The potential for Foot Solutions to become a household name really excites me.”

“My brother Tony is a chartered accountant and was so impressed with the concept and the profit margins in the model that he decided to invest with me. Tony has since given up his previous role to work fulltime on expanding the Foot Solutions brand. We signed the Master Franchise Agreement for both Ireland and the United Kingdom in December 2006 and opened our pilot store in Cork in 2007. The store has been an incredible success and has delivered an average of double digit growth since starting, despite the serious recession and economic climate we have had to operate in.”

Foot Solutions began franchising in Ireland in 2008 and in the UK in 2009. They currently have 10 stores with a number of new stores planned later in 2012. Against the backdrop of recession and negativity associated with retail in particular, Foot Solutions has still managed to establish their brand and develop the franchise network. All stores have performed well under these circumstances and some of their franchisees are seeing EBITDA returns of in excess of 15%.

Our Vision

“Our vision and strategic intention from the outset was to become one of the best and most professional franchisors in Ireland and the UK. We decided that we would not cut corners, we would manage our growth sensibly, and we would not let finance be an obstacle or lead to bad decisions and most importantly that our customer service would be the corner stone of our success. This ethos carries through everything we do from the support and relationship we have with our franchisees, to the building and development of our own team and right through to the experience of our customers. We have been clearly focused on:

1. A very selective recruitment process for new franchisees

2. Ongoing guidance for franchisee delivery of our franchise system

3. Using professional franchise advisors to ensure effective critiquing of our own performance and the delivery of exceptional training, backup and support to our franchisees

“We only appoint franchisees that we feel will add value to our network. We have gone way beyond our obligations in supporting our franchisees both from a training and support perspective, treating each new franchise opening as if it were our own. The result of this professional support team is that we can confidently move forward to roll out our network knowing that we have the best possible advice and support available to both our franchisees and to ourselves as Master Franchisors. This will ensure that our network can be successful and efficient in its roll out.”


If you are interested in managing a retail franchise opportunity that makes a difference to people’s health, please visit or contact John on 00 353 (0)81 8333668.


To download a PDF copy of this case study, please click below.

Case Study Foot Solutions – John Linehan MD