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'CeX ticked all the right boxes'

Armed with a desire to invest in a new business with expandability, seasoned franchisees Sukhbir Singh and Arvi Salariya decided to invest in the buy and sell, entertainment exchange franchise CeX.

Since the launch of their Cheltenham-based franchise at the end of November 2008, business is better than anticipated. Already Arvi and Sukhbir are close to smashing their six-month projected weekly turnover target of £24,000 in a matter of weeks.

'We have been franchisees since 2002 when we decided to invest in a pizza franchise,' reflects Arvi. 'Franchising was the ideal route into business for us because neither of us had experience of the fast food or catering industry. I had worked in IT while Sukhbir worked in social care. By following a tried and tested business model and building a business under a recognisable brand name, we were able to avoid the common pitfalls of being self-employed and hit the ground running.'

With six pizza outlets under their direction Arvi and Sukhbir were keen to expand, however there were limited territories available and so the pair decided to invest in a new franchise in a different market. 'CeX ticked all the right boxes,' enthuses Arvi. 'I had been a regular customer for a few years, trading in my son's old computer games for newer second hand ones. So I could see that the concept of buying, selling or exchanging goods worked and was a cheap way for customers to get their hands on newer entertainment and electronic goods. I discussed the growth potential of the CeX concept with Sukhbir and from there we decided to visit head office and the rest is history.

'The training and support package has been fantastic. For a growing franchise Sukhbir and I were impressed with the level of support. We had on-the-job training in different stores and locations where we were taught how to run and manage a store, from how to test the goods customers want to trade in to the store opening and closing procedures and the Epos computer system. While in terms of support someone is always available to help you. Before we started trading, head office sent a team to help us educate, train and mentor our new employees so that everyone knew what they were doing when we finally opened the doors.

'We love running our CeX franchise - we have an excellent team of young, motivated staff onboard to help us, a wide range of customers of different ages and we are surrounded by the latest entertainment, technology and gadgets, with seven main product lines stocked in our store from DVDs, video games and computing to electronics, mobile phones, vision and music CDs.'

Arvi and Sukhbir plan to open at least five more CeX outlets over the next two years. 'CeX has huge growth potential,' continues Arvi. 'Sukhibir and I are excited about our future with CeX and hope to play a key role in the brand's development and success.'

Interview by Jess Sturman