At a time when household cash flow levels remain under pressure, falling to their lowest point since early 2010, second-hand goods franchise, Cash Converters, remains cautiously optimistic with expected sales up 17%, compared to the same period last year.
Cash Converters CEO, Richard Mukheibir, says the group is anticipating a solid 20% increase for December, a time when traditionally retail sales spike in the sector, as well as strong January and February months for both the buy shop and the money lending side of the business. “We are fortunate that we can leverage both the desire for cash plus the desire for durable goods and, provided we have a good cost-effective, quality selection of goods and financial services, believe the brand will continue to do well,” he says.
Cash Converters, which currently has approximately 70 odd franchises around the country, plans to increase this to 150 within the next five years with immediate plans to open an additional 15 new stores during 2015. “Obviously this also opens up great employment opportunities for potential franchisees who fit within our same culture and value set,” says Mukheibir. He notes that interestingly the second-hand goods franchise sector is increasingly attracting successful individuals with previous franchise experience in other sectors which perhaps have tighter margins and/or are becoming too competitive and cluttered.
Mukheibir is however adamant that the group only employs a very specific type of individual who has the same value set. So much so that next year the group will be rolling out a national training programme to all 1000 employees to coincide with the move to a new global corporate identity.
The third generation store design, which emulates the global Australian model, will be rolled out nationally over the next three years and is intended to contemporise the brand and assist in attracting new customers and business to the stores.
“The training is an integral part of the new design as the change is not only aesthetic.”
“Cash Converters International has spent eight years on the development of the logo and store design and all of this as well as the training insights, visual merchandising and marketing intellectual capital will now be available to South African franchisees.
Underpinning these changes will also be significant investment in technology infrastructure to give us greater capacity for our money lending and core POS systems,” concludes Mukheibir.