CeX: Invest in a business that you will enjoy

An exciting and fast-paced retail opportunity, CeX provides a real opportunity to develop a network of high-tech gadget stores. Adam Browning reports

'CeX has really captured a niche market,' enthuses franchisee Kasim Ali. 'It's a brilliant concept - buy-and-sell part-exchange for all kinds of electronic entertainment goods. It's a business with edge and provides a valuable service to consumers - especially as goods are sold with a 12-month warranty. As technology changes so rapidly, it is inevitable that most people at some point will want to upgrade their existing products for newer models. Whether it be mobile phones, games, mp3 players or DVDs, consumers have somewhere to buy and sell these items on the high street and that place is CeX.'

So confident is CeX of the opportunity that, for a limited period, the company is offering a 'Buy Back Guarantee' for new franchisees. Subject to conditions, CeX will refund stock, shop build and fit costs and take over the store management and running costs should the franchise not meet the franchisees' expectations.

CeX is now embarking on a nationwide franchise development programme and is aiming to achieve national coverage within five years. With a proven business model developed over 14 years in 30 company owned stores, CeX is offering a fast-paced and exciting retail opportunity ideal for gadget lovers. With five main product lines: Videogames, DVDs, Computing, Electronics and Mobile Phones, CeX's durable business model is based on its ability to withstand a downturn in the economy. Says Kasim: 'The business model is recession-proof. Every product we stock traditionally has a cyclical sales pattern. The beauty of CeX's second-hand model is that they are able to manipulate the buy and sell prices to smooth out seasonal lows in demand.'

Before he was a franchisee, Kasim worked for CeX as a Stock Control Manager and was able to see how the company had grown and developed over time. After seven years in this job, Kasim decided he wanted to do his own thing and instantly knew that running his own CeX franchise would be the right path to take. 'Having worked for the company I knew that it was a great business opportunity and would bring me the success I was looking for,' he enthuses. 'CeX has a strong brand-name, is firmly established, has a proven business system and has a great support structure in place for franchisees.'

Opening his first shop in Croydon in June 2004, Kasim reports that the business has gone from strength to strength. 'It was very important to find the right location,' he explains. 'The premises had low overheads but still had high visibility - this was a real help in getting the business on to its feet. My first two years were a great success and this gave me the capital to open a second store in Tunbridge Wells at the end of last year. I now spilt my time between the two stores, taking on a managerial role, overseeing the business as a whole. I have individual stores managers who look after each shop as well as a great team of employees across both stores. CeX enables you to really grow the business and manage a number of shops.'

CeX aids its franchisees in launching their shops with a full support package that includes a marketing campaign and the store set-up itself - everything the franchisee needs to start trading. Kasim explains:

'CeX puts a lot of effort in to help you get started in building a successful business. Franchisees also benefit from a solid ongoing support programme that includes regular visits from the Franchise Director who at other times is always available by phone to assist with any questions. CeX is totally dedicated to looking after franchisees.'

Kasim points out that potential franchisees do not necessarily need any previous retail experience as everything you need to know can be taught by CeX. 'All you really need is common sense, motivation and to be able to work at a managerial level,' reveals Kasim. 'Although it can be hard work, I enjoy what I do and I find the business fun - if you're looking to start a business, it has to be something that you enjoy doing. I've found that because I enjoy what I do, I put more of myself into it and this has resulted in my ongoing success. If you have enthusiasm for gadgets, games and electronic entertainment, CeX is the franchise you have been looking for.

'For now I am concentrating on continuing the success of my first shop and building the second shop to a similar level. The franchise has real potential though - I am already planning to open my third shop within the coming year.'