Our Indie Retail Month in association with Gem continues with the next entry in our look at UK's fastest growing indies, Xpress Games.
Xpress Games MD Chris Muckell tells MCV how the store has made good on its plans to open a shop a year.
How has the business grown in recent years?
Xpress Games started as a franchised store of Chipsworld in 2005, in 2010 we bought ourselves out of the agreement and went independent. Since then we’ve opened a store a year, and our website, which allows customers to trade in games online as well as collect items in-store, has gone live with great success. There are three stores at the moment, and plans are afoot for a fourth – and more as and when the right locations become available.
What is the reason for the speed of which the store has grown?
I’m a firm believer of ‘less talk, more action’ so when we’ve identified a site and crunched the numbers, we push things forward and get the job done. We listen to what our customers want and try to adapt each of our stores and offerings to suit the target market. Different towns equal different demands.
How does the store continue to grow in a challenging market?
We’re still growing, 2013 is looking to be our best year since the 2008 boom days. The market is changing, but we’ve adapted our store offering over the years as customer’s demands have changed.
What was the biggest challenges you faced when first starting up?
When Xpress Games started the biggest problem really was building the brand. People at the time ‘trusted’ GAME, HMV etc and not the small independent stores when it came to large £300 to £400 PS3 consoles. Over the years we’ve built the brand name up and people in our area now see Xpress Games as a name they can trust, and trust the honest advice and service provided in stores.
Have you got any plans for further growth?
We’re on the look out for new locations for stores and we are aiming to continue our current rate of opening a store a year – or exceed that – but we are also working on a few interesting projects with our online presence and also our events market.