Honiton based baby and toddler swimming business, Water Babies has signed its first major deal in the East with a £2 million contract to roll out the brand across China.
Water Babies, which was recently named British Franchisor of the Year 2016, signed the deal with Shenzhen L.M. Global Education & Technology, who will become the master franchisor for China and secure franchisees across the world's most populated nation.
After extensive market research into cultural preferences, the decision was taken to rebrand Water Babies to Aqua Babies in China. Aqua Babies classes will also be held in purpose built centres specified by the brand and designed with the needs of infants and parents in mind.
The first centre is now open in Xi'an. Two further city centre developments are planned for Shenzhen and will be constructed by the same firm who built Beijing's iconic Bird's Nest Stadium. The master franchisors have had nine other companies across China register their interest in becoming a franchisee.
"This is a historic moment for Water Babies. There is a huge untapped market for us in China where there is an ever-increasing affluent middle class coupled with a strong focus on child-centered development activities like ours,” commented Co-Founder, Paul Thompson.
"We received numerous approaches to take Water Babies to China and at first it all seemed a little daunting. However we got all the advice we could from the government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign and China-Britain Business Council and the more we spoke with prospective Chinese investors, the more excited we became about the huge opportunities the market presented,” added Thompson.
Water Babies prides itself on being the most professional baby and toddler swimming company in the world with the best-qualified teachers and the very highest standards. It is well established as the world's biggest baby swimming company with a network across the UK as well as Ireland with further franchisees in Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands delivering lessons to 47,000 clients per week. The company has further plans to launch in Germany in the pipeline.