“Feeling the Pinch? Buy a Business” is possibly one of the most juxtaposing statements off the back of a dismal 2019 GDP performance, the Rand’s current position, consistent rolling blackouts and now, coronavirus having hit South African shores. Yet, when asked to repeat himself, Sean Stegmann – CEO of SA’s largest second-hand retailer, Cash Crusaders confirms that “yes, this is a great time to buy a recession-proof business.”
“In a pressured environment that is currently in an economic recession – the severity of which appears to shift daily, our business continues to thrive,” says Sean. “People are tired of being ripped off, tired of ‘wasting’ their [very] hard earned money and tired of having to rely on improved economic promises that never materialise in order to help themselves – these are all realities we’ve provided a solution to,” continues Sean.
Cash Crusaders, a multi-national empire with over 220 stores and over 20 years’ experience, has built a franchise business around empowering entrepreneurs. Their core values of honouring the brand, being professional, innovation to inspire growth, and commitment towards people growth and development, has transcended the growth of the R2.2 billion turnover organisation – in spite of a dire economic climate.
As the business has grown over the last couple of decades, Cash Crusaders has built additional business units that sell new products and offer secured loans for people who need to tie themselves over until payday. Given the price hikes associated with international big-name brands, Cash Crusaders has found a gap in the market for quality products at more affordable price points, so have been able to meet this demand through their network. Today, almost half of their retail sales income is generated from new goods, the remaining portion from the sales of pre-loved goods.
It’s no secret that South African businesses are feeling the pinch too with SOE businesses declaring staff cuts and SME businesses closing their doors daily. “We encourage these individuals to look at opportunities within our group,” says Sean. “Proof of our franchisee success can be found within our franchisee network themselves, one of which own more than 20 stores with the average franchisee owning 2,5 stores,” says Sean. What this means is that franchisees who bought their first store benefitted from the concept so significantly that they went on to buy additional stores. Complete training is offered as part of the franchise agreement, along with extensive operational support, use of their own POS (point of sale) inventory and stock-keeping system, and access to a R300k interest-free start-up loan – along with a number of other benefits which, Sean is confident will help potential franchisees set up their own business that can withstand tough economic conditions.