After 16 years as the owner of one of the UK’s most well known franchise brands Cash Generator , Brian Lewis (pictured, right) has sold his business to a USA-based company.
Although the new Cash Generator owners plan to continue the brand’s UK expansion, Lewis reveals that the decision to sell his business was not an easy one. “November 2010 was a cause of reflection and soul searching for me, as I and the other Cash Generator shareholders and management deliberated over a very attractive offer to buy the business by a large American financial services company. This sale would immediately make Cash Generator impressively stronger internally and externally, and gave us the opportunity to radically create greater leverage with the banks.
“The most important element for me was the belief that the Americans would treat our franchise owners with the highest respect and introduce even more ways for each franchise owner to attain still higher profits. This promise was the detail that convinced me this new family organisation was the ideal company to carry our business onwards and upwards.
“Cash Generator will now open at least 150 new stores in the UK over the next three years, which means that by 2013 approximately 400 Cash Generator stores will be located across Britain. The American organisation has deep pockets and our long held ambition of taking our brand global will finally become a reality under their ownership, with the first European outlets appearing this year. They bring an array of sophisticated financial products with them but best of all they are a very friendly family and they have fallen in love with the Cash Generator and the franchise owners.
“Therefore my reflections convince me this sale is in the best interest of all parties and I look forward to Cash Generator continuing its extraordinary growth.”
Lewis has personally built up the Cash Generator brand from launching the first store in 1994 to overseeing a franchise network of over 100 stores. “I spent the year of 1993 designing how Cash Generator would look and operate and in April 1994 I opened the first store in Bolton,” he said. “A further four company stores were opened quickly and we started to employ a fantastic group of enthusiastic colleagues who drove the business into early and sustained profits. In 1997 we started to seriously expand into franchising the business and in 2010 saw 17 company stores and 113 franchise units trading successfully.”
According to Lewis it was important for him to establish his business before franchising the concept. “My first thought was to sort out all the trading issues before franchise owners arrived in growing numbers and after achieving this the most important question was ‘am I worthy of the franchise owner’s trust?’. I truly believe my support for each franchise owner would be of the highest level and I was prepared to wait for my financial gain to arrive only after I had created success for the franchise owners and built a head office team that anyone would be proud of. So much so that one of our franchise owners now owns 10 stores and I do not think he has finished expanding.”
Written by Derin Ibrahim