Entrepreneurial European expansion

The Franchise Magazine first spoke with Michael Dunk when he opened his first store back in 2009. Now, six years, later we find out just how successful this partnership has been.

Like many people who join CeX, it’s the ambition of the brand, tied with huge earning potential, that sells this opportunity to so many, as Michael explains: “We chose CeX, one; because the brand was already strongly established and two; because the opportunity was good to jump on board and grow with them in the UK and abroad. We also felt they offered more value for our money in return on investment. Rival companies did not offer the same returns in investment and also the same knowledge and support that CeX offered me.”

Buying a franchise, for many, means more than just a great return on investment, it’s a change of lifestyle to: “My partner and I received freedom and flexibility to balance our family life and business, the security that came with the return on investment and not forgetting the endless support and expertise that CeX has offered us in this market.”

Training is vital for any franchisee to be a success and at CeX they use this as more than just a way of preparing their franchise owners, as Michael explains: “I was put through six months’ worth of training in multiple stores, to see if CeX was right for me, and to see if I was right for them. I liked that I knew every aspect of the business before I opened the doors on my first store. It wasn’t a take my money and leave me to it scenario.”

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Michael was keen to share how important he thought a reputable and recognised brand name is: “I think its key, customers tend to shop with a name they trust and can rely on. CeX defiantly meets this for online and the high street."

After watching his multi-unit franchise grow in the UK, Michael decided that Spain was the obvious next step for his expansion plans, as he confirms: “After seeing how the UK market and business has grown I wish I had invested earlier. I didn’t want to sit back and miss out on Spain. I have also been speaking with the team out in Spain and watching it grow and I was very keen to jump on early and help develop the brand out here and also grow my business at the same time.

“It comes with some teething problems, like distance and due to the fact I’m on the Balearic Islands, not the main land. The brand awareness is still growing, but I see the same issues the UK had and when Spain grows to the same size as the UK, I would like to be a main factor in helping grow the franchise side out here.”

Since Michael became a multi-unit franchisee, in two countries, his role within his own business has changed dramatically. “I still like to be hands on and visit each store at least once a week or every two weeks,” Michael states. “I will also touch base two-to-three times a week with my operations manger to get an update on figure performance and general day-to-day issues in store but I do a lot more from my office now than in store.”

Michael concluded by telling us why CeX is such a good investment, for potential franchisees: “The main factor is the return on investment but not forgetting the brand strength, support and bonds I have grown, with people in and around CeX.”