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Entertainment

C

ex has occupied its familiar position on Princes Street for ten years now, buying and selling DVDs, computer games, phones an computer hardware. Cex (Complete Entertainment Exchange) is a franchise-business which was founded in London in 1992 and has grown to over 600 stores in both the UK and abroad. When the Stockport outlet was opened by Kevin Nurse and his partner Hazel Linford in 2009, the business was still in the early stages of its expansion, the only other two stores near to Stockport were both in Manchester. Cex Stockport’s Store Manager is Luke Grimshaw, who has been there since day one: “I was here dusting the shelves and building the gondolas before we even opened.” Obviously, Luke is the right person to speak to about how things have changed for the business over the last decade, “Ten years ago the focus was on media, so we’d buy a lot of DVDs and loads of video games but those industries are moving to digital platforms now so we’re seeing less physical media coming into the store. The result of that is that we’ve shifted towards the hardware - the things that people play these things on. It’s particularly irksome for Luke that more and more games are being launched in digital format only. “XBox have just released a digital only console, that’s no good to us. Fortnite is free to play. You can’t go into a shop and buy it. The biggest game of all time is a free download. “That’s why Cex are diversifying. We’re buying retro stuff now, things like Nintendo 64 and Super Nintendo games. We’ve also dipped our toe into music technology, buying things like mixing desks and synthesisers and just recently customers have started buying board games - not your Monopolies - proper role-playing, super-duper nerdy games. So the company are trying to diversify and try different things... Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.” Luke is also very aware that his main advantage over his online competition is his staff, “We have a big focus on shop floor presence here. We have people going onto the shop floor to engage with the customers, trying to help them. If you buy from Amazon, it’s cheap, you get it delivered to your house, I can’t compete with that but I can give you some conversation and some nice advice from friendly people.”

Cex - 10 Years of Fun and Games

Our meeting with Luke was at 10am on a Thursday morning but already there was a surprising degree of activity in the shop, so for all the changes in the way films and games are distributed, for now at least, there are still people happy to consume the media in traditional ways. Luke is generally confident, “We’re still here after ten years and I really think we’ll be here in another ten years but what we sell might be quite different.”

Profile for TOTALLY STOCKPORT

Totally Stockport Magazine Issue 9  

Everything thats great in Stockport Town Centre, Whats On and Whats New

Totally Stockport Magazine Issue 9  

Everything thats great in Stockport Town Centre, Whats On and Whats New