Closer to the Goal of £1m

Six months since the launch of his franchise, CeX franchise owner Stuart Dixon is already in a position to finance a second store and has his target £1 million turnover within sight

As a young, vibrant brand trading in the growing entertainment and electronic goods market, buy, sell and exchange franchise CeX continues to attract ambitious prospective multiple unit franchise owners of all ages.

Keen to capitalise on the growing demand for home entertainment products and take his career with CeX to the next level, former CeX Manager Stuart Dixon decided to become a franchise owner. At 23, Stuart is the youngest CeX franchise owner in Northern Ireland and is proof that young franchise owners are just as capable as older, more experienced franchise owners at building a profitable business. Within the first six months of trading, Stuart's sales at his Londonderry store have continued to increase bringing him closer to his goal of a £1 million first year annual turnover. He is now also in a position to open a second store.

'I managed a corporate store for two years,' reflects Stuart. 'I loved my job, however I was growing restless because I wanted more responsibility- however the only vacancy for a Zone Manager was in London and I did not want to move there. After a discussion with Hugh Man, the Franchise Director at CeX, I realised that I could fulfil my potential as a franchise owner.

'Obtaining finance from the bank proved difficult because of my age. However, through work I met Trevor Finlay - another franchise owner based in Northern Ireland. At the time I was helping Trevor launch his store based in Enniskillen. He heard about my problems getting the finance and offered to become my business partner and help me get started. With his track record in retail and involvement within the brand I couldn't refuse and so I launched my store in December last year.

'As I had worked for the company for a couple of years I did not require any formal training. The support on offer has been fantastic though. My Franchise Manager contacts me by phone or email at least once a week to check everything is OK and then every four to six weeks he visits my store to discuss its performance and ways to drive sales. In March we also had our annual CeX conference where all of the franchise owners got together and were able to share ideas and best practise, which was really beneficial.'

Long term, Stuart intends to open one new store a year for the next five years but insists he will continue to take a hands-on role. 'I get annoyed if I am sat behind a desk for too long doing paperwork,' comments Stuart. 'I like to be out on the shop floor meeting the customers and selling the products. 'The great thing about being a CeX franchise owner is that every day is different. The stock is continually changing as customers buy, sell and exchange items and you get to meet people of different ages from all walks of life. I would highly recommend investing in this franchise to anyone with the financial capability who is willing to put in the time and effort to make the business a success!'

interview by Jess Sturman