Secondhand franchise expands

Secondhand franchise expands

The Computer Market has inked two new franchise agreements that will see more secondhand computer stores open in Queensland. The announcement brings its store count to five and will coincide with the unveiling of a larger head office and showroom in September.

Co-founder and director, Kurt Kratzmann, said the new headquarters in Albion, Queensland, would be double the size of its existing premises. It would be used as a showpiece and training facility for current and future franchise partners. It is the only company-owned shop.

The Computer Market announced its intention to implement a franchise model in October.

Although the company had set a target of 10 stores in its first year, Kratzmann said the figure had been ambitious. He attributed the delays to longer lead times.

"We are taking our first 12 months nice and steady," Kratzmann said. "For our first year we are looking to double our size to six stores. Next year we will be more aggressive. Once we've ironed out the procedures, we will market the business more and double our size again."

Although the upcoming locations were all in Queensland, Kraztmann did not rule out opening similar franchises in Sydney or Melbourne next year.

"We have just signed up as a new member of the Franchise Council of Australia and we are surprised at the leads we have had from the southern states," he said. "We were trying to work and grow the model from our home base because we don't want distance to get in the way."

The Computer Market is one of several companies making a business out of refurbished PCs.

Kraztmann said the primary reason for its move into a franchise model was the push from suppliers for larger secondhand outlets.

"Our suppliers, the large banks and finance companies, have so much gear coming off lease that they need the outlets for it," he said.

The company had also been approached by other institutions to take equipment for refurbishment, he said.

"The frequently asked question by franchise prospects is the guarantee of supply," he said. "We are only scratching the surface with our suppliers."

One of the major issues facing the entire industry is what to do with gear that has reached its end of life.

Kraztmann said he was working with two or three competitors to form a group to investigate the issue of PC dumping.

"No one has put their hand up to give a solution for disposing of equipment," he claimed.

"We have tried to set up a group as this is going to be an issue for us. But it needs an incentive or some kind of push from the government."

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