A business model that thrives in an economic downturn

After only a few months of trading CeX franchisees David Hendron and Dessie Higgins are already thinking about opening their second store

Second-hand goods are becoming increasingly popular as consumers look for ways to save money during the credit crunch. CeX stores offer customers the opportunity to not only buy second-hand items but to also sell their own unwanted goods, a business concept that thrives in an uncertain economic climate.

It was CeX's business model that appealed to David Hendron and his business partner Dessie Higgins (pictured) who launched their Coleraine based franchise in September 2008. David explains: 'I worked in the construction industry before, so I had no experience of working in this sector. A friend of mine owns a franchise and has been really successful so I started to look into franchising. CeX opened a small company-owned store near to me, which was very successful and Dessie and I thought there was something in the concept. We began researching franchising and especially CeX further and thought that the business concept was a brilliant idea so we decided to invest in a CeX franchise.'

CeX buys and sells a range of technology that are placed in main product lines it refers to as 'super categories', which are: Video Games, DVDs, Computing, Electronics, Mobile Phones, Vision and Music CDs. Franchisees do not need to have an in-depth knowledge of technology to successfully own a CeX business because all the relevant training is included in the franchise package, David recalls: 'Before launching we had two weeks of training, which was very helpful and covered everything we needed to know for running our business.

'In the build up to our launch CeX head office was on hand to offer us all the support we needed, for example they helped us to make sure that our store was ready and opened on time. Prior to our launch, CeX's marketing team were with us to help promote our store and we handed out leaflets to potential customers in the area. During our first few days of trading we also had staff sent from head office to work alongside us and to make sure that our launch was a success.'

David and Dessie's first few months of trading have been so successful that they are predicting that they will beat their target turnover of £600,000 and instead reach £800,000. Additionally, the business partners are already thinking about opening their second store. For David, however, the financial success is not the only reason he enjoys owning a CeX franchise: 'I really enjoy being my own boss and knowing that I'm in control of my future,'he says.

Interview by Derin Ibrahim