Summary of Operation
Retailer of second-hand electronic and digital entertainment products. We trade in video games, DVDs, mobile phones, digital electronics, computing, vision products and music CDs.
Investment required £200,000 - £250,000 + VAT
In April 2011, colleagues Richard Whitley and Stephen Hall decided to combine their product knowledge and hands-on experience to make the leap from CeX employees to franchise owners.
Now, almost a year on since launching their Blackpool-based franchise, the pair have achieved impressive sale figures and are already planning to open their second store. Both have hugely enjoyed being CeX franchise owners but confess they do have one regret.
“We wish we’d done it sooner,” admits Stephen. “We have had a great year with initial sales and it looks like we’re going to smash our target turnover of £1 million very soon – weeks before our stores’ one-year anniversary!
“We have always loved the products and still enjoy being around the latest technology. We’ve built a great team and enjoy working hard together.”
Before making the transition to franchise owners, Stephen and Richard worked in the corporate division of CeX. Even though the pair had the advantage of experience on their side, they still found the ongoing support from the CeX team invaluable.
“CeX have supported us from the inception of our business,” confirms Stephen. “They helped find our store location and designed our store for us. We also receive ongoing support from their specialist teams who provide advice covering all areas of the business from pricing, product selection, marketing, IT support and loss prevention.”
All CeX locations are carefully evaluated so that franchise owners can obtain maximum turnover and a good level of profitability. Franchise owners, therefore, have an opportunity to draw a good salary as well as build up excellent equity in their portfolio.
Due to the popularity of their store, Stephen and Richard have had to gear their marketing campaigns towards the buy-in aspect of the business to cope with customer demand.
“Our sales have been so good we have been actively marketing the buy-in side of our business with the help of the CeX team,” explains Stephen. “Thankfully this message is well received – CeX does genuinely pay the most for customers old gadgets, phones and games as confirmed by a string of Which? reports and a recent BBC investigation.”
The CeX business model allows customers to buy, sell and exchange a focused yet complementary range of entertainment products including mobile phones, video games, DVDs, computers, digital electronics and CDs. Uniquely all goods are second-hand, tested in store and sold with a 12-month warranty.
With less than a year of trading behind them, Stephen and Richard have already got their sights set on a second store location and are still enjoying the benefits of being their own boss.
“It’s a cliché, but only because it’s true, we enjoy being in control of our own future,” says Richard. “You get out what you put in and we are confident our business will continue to grow – we are hoping to open our second store this summer! I now enjoy getting up and going to work and also seeing the numbers as our business grows.”
Written by Tiffany Brooking