August 11, 2016 // Franchising.com // Cape Town, South Africa - It’s a landmark event that’s no small potatoes. But truth be told, potatoes played a big role in making it all happen.
On Friday, Aug. 19, Experimac, the one-of-a-kind retail storefront concept that specializes in sales of pre-owned Apple® computers, devices and much more – will be celebrating the sale of its 100th store, scheduled to open this October in Cape Town, South Africa.
Julian and Cesca Nieuwoudt will be introducing and growing the Experimac brand in South Africa as master license partners. To say that 43-year-old Julian and 38-year-old Cesca are making an extreme career transition would be an understatement.
For two decades, Julian has been in the farming industry, specializing in potato seed production. With Cesca joining him in the business since marrying 15 years ago, they grew to become one of South Africa’s top 20 potato producers. But two years ago, the couple received an offer for their land from South Africa’s largest carrot grower, who was looking for additional farming land. They decided the time was ripe for change and sold their farm.
Looking for a new, exciting opportunity with outstanding growth potential, Julian discovered Experimac while doing some online research and was immediately intrigued
by the retailer that not only specializes in the sale of pre-owned Apple® computers and devices, but also offers repair of laptops, phones and tablets; trade-ins of existing devices; software and system updates; and sales of accessories.
Operating under the United Franchise Group umbrella, the Experimac brand was launched in November 2014 and now has 51 locations open in the United States with 52 additional stores in various stages of development.
“We couldn’t be happier to now be entering South Africa,” said Jim Muir, founder of the Experimac concept, “and to have this be our 100th store in such a short period of time.”
In addition to its entry into South Africa, Experimac recently opened a pilot store in Sydney, Australia. A master license has also been awarded for northern Mexico, with the pilot store already in development, while a deposit has been received for a master franchise in Chile. Plans are also under way for expansion in Canada, France, Nigeria and western Africa.
The Nieuwoudts will open their first Experimac in the Willowbridge Shopping Centre in Cape Town and plan to open an additional five stores themselves in the Western Cape while selling franchises in all major centres of South Africa including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
“We are looking forward to opening our pilot store and working with the United Franchise Group to build Experimac into one of the most well-known and reputable brands in South Africa,” Julian said.
As if launching new careers wasn’t enough, the Nieuwoudts are also uprooting their family and moving almost 1,000 km from their current home in Bloemfontein, Free State to Wellington in the Western Cape by year’s end.
“Making the move to the Cape is a challenge, but it is also something we both knew we would have to do,” Cesca said. “Besides, the Western Cape is the most beautiful part of South Africa and we are really looking forward to calling it home.”
For the Nieuwoudts – who estimate they have invested more than $400,000 in launching their new venture – the timing couldn’t be better for meeting the needs of consumers. The technology sector is obviously booming. In 2014, about 302 million computers were sold worldwide, generating about $304 billion in sales revenue. At the
same time, nearly seven billion cell phone subscriptions were purchased worldwide by May 2014, nearly one for every person on the planet.
According to Franchising.com, having a blueprint for international growth has been increasing in popularity for U.S.-based franchisors. According to Franchising.com’s findings, “80 percent of the world's population lives in areas that are considered emerging markets. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that over 75 percent of the expected growth in the world's trade over the next two decades will come from developing countries, particularly big emerging markets, which account for over half the world's population, but only 25 percent of its gross domestic product.”
In addition, the report said that finding well-qualified master franchisees outside the U.S. can pave the way for growth of a franchise because “the qualified master franchisee can be the key to identifying and recruiting talented franchisees who fit the system and successfully execute the franchise concept.”
Since Experimac specializes in selling used products, particularly used Apple® products, the products can be sold at a price point that is accessible to a much-wider range of customers. When customers enter competing retail stores that sell new computers, Smartphones and tech equipment, only one out of every 100 or so people actually purchase something because of the high price point, but they are much more likely to buy at Experimac.
Experimac customers typically enjoy average savings of 60 percent on pre-owned Apple® products over big-box retailers. And Experimac takes the risk out of purchasing pre-owned equipment with a 90-day guarantee. If something breaks, Experimac will repair or replace the defective part at no cost.
“Apple® is a brand that is respected throughout the world. It is in high demand because of its reputation, but its products are also expensive to buy and repair,” Cesca said. “With Experimac, we will be able to supply South Africa with quality, pre-owned Apple® products with a warranty, as well provide a place to repair and upgrade all your Apple® products. And all work comes with a guarantee!”
Experimac is the latest addition to the United Franchise Group family of brands, joining a team with over 30 years of franchise experience. Capitalizing on a sustained demand for Apple® products, Experimac provides pre-owned computers and devices, repair of laptops, phones and tablets, trade-ins of existing devices, sales of accessories and upgrades. Experimac has 00 locations nationwide. For more information visit www.experimacfranchise.com.
Led by CEO Ray Titus, United Franchise Group houses a successful group of business-to-business franchise systems. United Franchise Groups concepts specialize in personalized business services including signs, embroidery, business brokerage and outdoor advertising. With nearly three decades in the franchising industry and more than 1400 franchisees throughout the world, United Franchise Group offers unprecedented leadership and solid business opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Sanderson & Associates