Paul Bradbury only wanted to buy a video game – but ended up buying a store.

Now the 36-year-old is celebrating after opening the doors to CHIPS Newcastle-Under-Lyme just 11 days before Christmas.( Tues, Dec 14)

Paul visited the CHIPS website for the first time earlier this year looking to buy a game. However, the “franchise info” button caught his eye and after investigating the idea he decided he wanted to open his own CHIPS store.

Now he is looking forward to a very busy festive period behind the counter of the store at 3 York Place, Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

“I had been working with my father in his Skoda dealership in Telford for eight years and he decided to sell the business,” said Paul. “I was looking around for something else to do when I visited for the first time to buy a game.”

“After investigating the franchise I decided I wanted to open my own store. Opening at such a busy time will be very hard work but I am really looking forward to the challenge and thankfully I will have great support from parents, John and Gwen, and my wife, Michelle.”

Paul, who lives in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, has already undergone intensive training at CHIPS.

“I will be helped by Youth Trainee Adam Littleton, Michelle plans to work one day a week and my father will be on hand with any business advice I need,” said Paul, who has a son Ryan, 10, and daughter, Megan, five.

“I have always played video games and Ryan is a great fan too so this will be a great Christmas for us all.”

CHIPS Newcastle-Under-Lyme is CHIPS 26th outlet to open across the country and it only took nine days to fit out the store and prepare it for its first customers.

Nik Agar, Joint Managing Director of CHIPS said: “It usually takes about two-and-a-half weeks for us to prepare a store for opening. But as we were so close to Christmas we tried to do it as fast as we possibly could.

“Everyone worked incredibly hard and managed to do the job in just nine days.

“Opening at this time of the year will be very hard work for Paul and his family, but we have had other franchisees open even closer to Christmas and they survived it well.

“Paul has had very intensive training and his business background will stand him in great stead. Plus we have lots of expertise he can rely on so I know he will do well.”

CHIPS Newcastle-Under-Lyme is the 18th CHIPS franchise to open across the UK and more are in the pipeline for the New Year.

CHIPS was founded by Nik Agar and Don McCabe in the mid-80s and there are now seven company-owned stores in Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Darlington, Redcar, Northallerton, Bishop Auckland and Letchworth. There is also an award-winning e-commerce site

There are 18 franchise stores in Stafford, Skipton, Norwich, Hartlepool, Arnold, Lytham St Annes, Chorley, Yeovil, Consett, Chester Le Street, Guisborough, Edinburgh, Chorlton, Portslade, Orpington, Stockton, Otley and now Newcastle- Under-Lyme.

All CHIPS stores buy, sell and trade new and second-hand consoles, video games, DVDs and accessories.

CHIPS is the current holder of the Best Independent Video Games Retailer Award.


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