On-Line Brochure


  • Looking for a business that’s fun and profitable
    CHIPS Arnold

    CHIPS Arnold

  • Interested in a retail store
  • Prepared to work hard
  • Personally able to invest around £30,000


  • Filling in Vat returns
  • Solving all your customers’ problems
  • Employing staff
  • Getting to grips with a Pay As You Earn System

The video games industry is exciting, challenging and fun, but like most businesses it requires hard work and commitment to be successful.

CHIPS was the first to franchise its highly-successful formula across the country and now you have a chance to grab your very own shop-in-a-box.

The CHIPS franchise system offers you the opportunity to run your own video games retail business using our trade name, unique style, knowledge, expertise and proven business formula.

So, if you are serious about running a business and interested in finding out more – then read on. If, however you’re only serious in playing PC & video games, then may we suggest you visit our website, www.chipsworld.co.uk, where a list of our stores – and the massive range of products we sell – can be found. Thank you for your interest so far.


CHIPS Franchise Joint Managing Directors Nik Agar & Don McCabe


Few people who experienced the thrill of the first video game hit – Space Invaders – would have imaged by the 21st century there would be such a huge range of fabulous games on the market.


CHIPS Chorlton: Franchisee Faisal Ali

CHIPS Chorlton: Franchisee Faisal Ali

The industry has come a long way since the introduction of the first home computers in 1980 and video games consoles, such as Atari’s VCS. By 2009, most homes across the UK boasted either a PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii.

But many families don’t just stop at one console. The majority has at least one PC too and many youngsters also own a DS or PSP. Older machines such as the PS2, GameBoy, Nintendo 64 & Dreamcast also have their fans and there is still a big demand for many older, classical games.

Publishers constantly release bigger and better games for each console and the secondhand market is both huge and highly-profitable. Gamers who started playing in their teens are now parents and even grandparents.

They continue to buy and play games themselves – as well as encouraging the next generation to join them in their passion.

You may already be aware how big the market is by the amount you, your children, family and friends spend on video games. But here are a few facts and figures.

In 2008 the pc and video games market was worth approximately £4bn in the UK, significantly bigger than either the music or film markets.

Far from slowing down, the market is forecast to continue growing into the next decade with a very strong schedule of software releases across all formats planned. Historically, popular new software releases also drive the sale of hardware.


CHIPS’ slogan is WE BUY, WE SELL, WE TRADE and in a nutshell that is what we do.

CHIPS is a chain of video games stores across the UK, which specializes in the sale video game hardware, software & accessories.

By 2004 CHIPS was the largest independent video games chain in the UK, a title it still holds today. It was the first to franchise its highly-successful formula across the country.

The business was established in 1986, at the birth of the video games industry, by two of the earliest games enthusiasts, Nik Agar & Don McCabe. The first CHIPS store was in Middlesbrough, in the North-east of England.

CHIPS Market Harborough: Franchisee Andrew Colclough

CHIPS Market Harborough: Franchisee Andrew Colclough

During the late 1980s and early 1990s the number of CHIPS stores grew, along with the number of video games fans across the country. In 1997, as a result of the success of CHIPS, Nik & Don were approached by Keith Scarr, who wanted to open his own branch of CHIPS on a franchise basis.

After developing the concept with franchise consultant Julie Waites, of The Franchise Company – a firm of franchise consultants affiliated to the British Franchise Association – the CHIPS franchise system was launched in 1999.

By this point CHIPS had six company-owned stores and an award-winning website, www.chipsworld.co.uk.

Keith Scarr opened the pilot franchise in Bishop Auckland in 1999 and many more stores followed after the CHIPS franchise system was officially launched in October 2000. There are now 16 CHIPS stores across the country.


The video games market moves very quickly – as any parent with a youngster knows to their cost. New games are literally released on a weekly basis and there are thousands and thousands of titles and accessories all vying for the pound in your pocket.

A key part of being successful is knowing which products to stock, what price it can be sold for and being able to source the products which are in demand by customers. With 25 years in the business, Don & Nik have acquired a unique understanding of the games market and “what makes it tick”.

This wealth of knowledge and worldwide contacts, combined with an avid attention to detail and determination to “get it right”, has ensured CHIPS has grown. The CHIPS business format is proven and successful and with the right franchisees, the company will continue to expand nationally.

The CHIPS franchise system is different from many others as franchisees are not tied to purchasing product from the franchisor.


  • CHIPS buying power, product knowledge and trading experience
  • Expertise and advice from friendly, approachable staff, including both Managing Directors
  • Immediate access to a range of suppliers and stock
  • CHIPS unique trade-in and secondhand stock distribution system which operated between all CHIPS stores, warehouse and head office
  • An innovative approach to business which allows CHIPS to compete against the national multiples


One of the main pitfalls of running a retail outlet is buying just the right amount of stock at the right time – no one wants 30 copies of a game sitting on their shelves for months on end.


CHIPS Joint MD Nik Agar

CHIPS Joint MD Nik Agar

One of the key advantages to the CHIPS franchise system is the expertise and help it provides with stock management, purchasing and pricing.

Via the bespoke EPOS system, CHIPS can instantly see the stock on your shelves. It can advise you on levels, prices and supply you with stock if you require.


Franchisees can also see the stock available throughout Darkplains Ltd and other franchise outlets. This is an invaluable resource for each store’s customers. The CHIPS trade-in policy and sale of high-quality secondhand goods can add to your profit substantially.

As a franchisee you do not have to worry about being left with traded-in products. Surplus items can be sent to the CHIPS’ warehouse for redistribution round the chain and your second-hand account will be credited.

Franchisees can also tap into this network by purchasing secondhand goods, which are in short supply in their area, from CHIPS, using either their credit balance or payable on invoice.

Constantly changing trade-in prices are obtained via national independent research by head office and are regularly uploaded to the EPOS system. This ensures you are receiving and selling second-hand products for the optimum price, according to the state of the market.

In addition, the CHIPS franchise system offers all the major benefits you would expect from a good franchisor including:


  • Market research to identify suitable trading areas
  • Assistance with producing a business plan and raising finance (if required)
    CHIPS Arnold Franchisees: Mike & Jenny Smith

    CHIPS Arnold Franchisees: Mike & Jenny Smith

  • General business start-up advice and support
  • Assistance with site selection and full lease negotiation
  • Access to legal experts, both property & franchise
  • Shop design and layout
  • Bespoke shop-fit service
  • Initial new and secondhand stock
  • Standardised book-keeping, accounts and administration systems
  • Hands-on induction training programme at a North-east store
  • Experienced CHIPS personnel on site to set up your store
  • Assistance with recruiting and training your staff
  • An experienced CHIPS’ staff member on-site during business launch
  • Use of CHIPS trading name and trademarks
  • Initial marketing assistance to launch the business
  • Comprehensive Franchise Operations Manual
  • Comprehensive EPOS retail system and training
  • Group discount on credit card facilities from Day One as part of a group
  • Access, via CHIPS, to all major hardware & software suppliers from Day One
  • Direct access to all CHIPS staff, including the two joint managing directors


  • Fully integrated stock control system, updated regularly from head office
  • Do you want to be part of this?

    Do you want to be part of this?

    EPOS License Key

  • Direct link to all company expertise
  • On-site visits
  • On-going product & store assessment
  • On-going supplier assessment and negotiations
  • Meetings to monitor progress and review development on request
  • On-going advice with book-keeping, admin, PAYE and VAT as required
  • Telephone contact and support as required
  • Business development advice – opening additional CHIPS retail outlets, recruiting & training staff etc
  • On-going franchise training on request
  • Development of marketing ideas and internal and external promotions


CHIPS is looking for franchisees who are able to give full-time commitment to the business. Retail experience is not essential but, as a franchisee, you must work in the store for a minimum of a year.

You don’t have to be young or a console or games genius but you or your family will probably have an interest in the video games market – or be very willing to learn.



You must be prepared to follow our tried-and-tested formula. We are always looking for ways to improve but the essence of franchising is that franchisees use the franchisor’s business system.

You need to have a positive attitude and be enthusiastic about running your own business. As a retailer you must have good inter-personal skills, be prepared to work hard and have lots of common-sense.

CHIPS stores aim to attract people of all ages – from youngsters with their grandparents through to the more mature gamer.

Obviously, you need to be able to raise the capital. While banks will lend money to potential franchisees, they do expect you to have cash of your own, which is not subject to any repayment, to put into the business.

Each of our franchisees, their staff and company staff must be willing to undergo a criminal records check. As an industry which is attractive to children our first responsibility is to our young customers and their parents.

Good support from your partner, family and friends is essential if you are to give full commitment to your business.


Fill in our inquiry form, send it to CHIPS Franchise Ltd, Unit 17, Collingwood Court, Riverside Industrial Estate, Middlesbrough, TS2 1RP and we will be in touch to discuss our franchise in more depth.

Please note the figures and information do not form part of a contract with CHIPS Franchise Ltd or Darkplains Ltd. It is not a guarantee of profit and is intended as a guide for use by potential franchisees and their advisors. You are advised to take full professional advice before entering into any franchise system.

Franchise Inquiry Form 1

Franchise Inquiry Form 2

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