Jeremy W. Steele reports in the Lansing State Journal that in Ireland, the concept of hiring movers has yet to really catch on. He quotes Brian Hefferon, an owner of the second international franchise of Delhi Township-based Two Men and a Truck International Inc.

Steele writes that nearly three-quarters of people in Ireland bypass professionals and move their own stuff with the help of family and friends. But with half of all Irish houses built in the last 20 years and a labour force growing by 100,000 immigrants per year, Hefferon believes Irish moving habits are about to change.

Hefferon will join a network of 180 Two Men franchises in the United States and Canada as a franchisee. His company, NDMG Holdings Ltd., bought the rights to be a “master franchisee” – essentially a satellite office with authority to sell franchises throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. Hefferon expects to have his first two moving companies running within a month.

Two Men is said to be careful about who it chooses to run its franchises. Only seven franchises have closed in the past three years, and half of those were because owners of multiple locations decided to consolidate operations, she said.

Starting a franchise can be a $100,000 to $400,000 investment. Privately owned, Two Men had revenue of $181 million in 2005, up nearly 22 percent from about $149 million in 2004. The company employs about 60 people at its headquarters, which supports franchises with training programs and administration of the company’s proprietary software system.

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