“Support I Can Rely on”

Although business is bliss in 2014 for Martin Hawthorne, it was not always the case. When, three years ago, his first CeX location in Birkenhead struggled, he relied on the guidance and support of the CeX franchise team to catapult his business back to success. The Franchise Magazine reveals his story

Martin has recently opened his second Complete entertainment eXchange (CeX) electronics and gadgets store in Widnes, Cheshire after taking his first Birkenhead location to notable profitability. However in 2011, just one year after he began trading, he ran into some difficulties with his new business. “Birkenhead suffered a sudden decline in sales during 2011 which really put us back and in a tight spot financially,” Martin explains. “CeX were there for me when I needed them. By working closely with their teams, who were all so supportive, we managed to get the business turned around, and not only turned around, it went steaming ahead and, out of more than 180 stores, it was fourth for growth in 2013.”

The team behind CeX’s growth has helped countless franchise owners to be successful and so they know exactly what it takes to create an arena in which a business can thrive. This expertise was instrumental for Martin’s recovery in a difficult time. He continues: “No doubt, if we weren’t in the franchise, we would have been in trouble. In fact, I doubt any other franchise would of given the time, trust and input they did to support us through difficult times. To me, that means everything.”

This dedication to aiding Martin when he needed help reinforced his faith in CeX and has been a huge part of his more recent success. “This gave me great confidence in the company,” he says of the support he was given. “Even though it had experienced phenomenal growth, the individual still mattered and the protection and support a franchise gave was totally invaluable.”

Now Martin can look back on the difficult times with a wry smile, but his current prosperity is a testament to the unquestionable support that CeX provides to each of its franchise owners. “I am most impressed with the support, knowledge and understanding given by CeX when things got difficult in our first store,” he explains. “All too often I hear about how perfect franchising is, but the reality is, it’s still a business and like any other can have its downsides. CeX really do stick to their word when they say they will support and look after you.”

CeX insists upon a minimum of 400 hours of in-store training for each franchise owner recruited before trading can begin, which ensures each investor is well prepared before taking over the running of their own store. Martin concludes: “It’s clear that CeX will continue its amazing growth and worldwide success and I’m delighted to be a small part of that. I can wholeheartedly recommend CeX to anyone that has the desire to work hard to see reward.”

Martin is planning to open two more stores in the not too distant future and it is fair to say he is very much looking forwards to taking his network to four locations, but he will never forget how the CeX franchising team stuck by him when he needed them most.