A business for entertainment enthusiasts
With backup and support from CeX, franchise owner Michael Dunk is ahead of target in his fourth month of trading and is already looking to expand
Entertainment enthusiast Michael Dunk is enjoying the transition from business owner to CeX franchise owner. In his fourth month of trading, he is already ahead of target and is keen to build on the success of his Chatham-based outlet by opening a second shop this year.
Before Michael joined CeX he owned a coffee shop and IT college with his father Steve and his business partner Phil Marston. "While we really enjoyed being the boss and having control over our lifestyles, the coffee shop was no longer profitable and the lease on the college building was up so we needed to re-think our business plans," recalls Michael.
"We heard that 'buy and sell' businesses were very profitable, so decided to speak to our friend Julie Boult, a CeX employee. Julie highlighted the benefits of investing in entertainment exchange franchise CeX - namely the fact that the franchise owners experience ongoing success. This coupled with the thought of working with entertainment products excited me, so my father and Phil agreed it would be an ideal investment and were keen to become my silent business partners. We sold the coffee shop business and let the lease run out on the college so that we could explore the CeX venture.
"We decided to go down the franchising route because we liked the idea of having access to a proven business model as well as a wealth of experience and support. That way if we did run into any problems we would not be alone, like we were in our previous businesses."
Established in 1992, CeX has 91 stores operating in its nationwide network. The CeX concept is based on buying, selling and exchanging a variety of entertainment and electronic goods from video games, DVDs and mobile phones to computers and CDs. CeX franchise owners continue to trade profitably in the recession, because the fact customers are able to trade in old goods for newer versions or buy second-hand stock enables them to keep up-to-date with the latest releases without making a huge dent in their finances.
"In order to ensure CeX was the right investment, I volunteered to work in several corporate and franchised stores for three weeks to get a feel for the business before I became a franchise owner and I loved it," continues Michael. "Once I had signed the agreement I had to attend a comprehensive 12-week training course run by head office in an existing franchised store, where I worked my way up from sales assistant to manager. From day one I have also had priceless support from my Regional Franchise Manager.
"Establishing the business is hard work, however I am prepared to work long hours now if it means I will be able to reap the rewards later. At present, I am the manager of the store. I love having a hands-on role and being able to see the business grow first hand, although my long term aim is to be able to take a backseat. Once I have a small network of stores in operation, I plan to become the Area Manager and leave the day-to-day running of the stores to the individual CeX Managers. This in turn will give me more time to focus on marketing the business."
Interview by Jess Sturman
An established retail opportunity awaits individuals keen to make substantial profits from the buying and selling of second-hand products. With 87 successful UK stores (30 franchised), CeX is eager to recruit franchise owners capable of replicating success across the UK. Stores trade in six main product ranges - videogames, DVD, mobile phones, electronics, computing and music - tapping into a huge potential market. Through continuous innovation using 17 years of experience, CeX has grown to dominate this recession-proof sector. CeX is now looking for individuals interested in building a successful retail business in this growing and exciting market. CeX is confident of the opportunity to the degree that for a limited period the company is offering a 'Buy Back Guarantee'.
Founded in 1992 CeX has been expanding steadily across the UK. CeX stores buy, sell and exchange a range of technological goods including video games, DVDs, mobile phones, computers, digital electronics and music. As part of its franchise package CeX offers franchise owners training and ongoing support.