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From Games Passion to Career

Games expert Faisal Ali has spent years learning how to make video games and now he has found himself at the sharp end – with his very own store.

Faisal, 28, has just opened the doors of CHIPS Chorlton along with father and franchise partner, Mohammad Anwar, and he is determined to make it a runaway success. This is the video games chain’s 22nd outlet and the first to open this year.

The store is a real family affair, for brother Quisar, who graduated from Salford University and now works part-time for British Gas, will also be working part-time in the video games store.

Faisal, who has a BA in Digital Arts and HND in Video Games Production, has been playing games since his teens and he has now turned his passion into his career.

The Ali family, who live in Chorlton, decided to set up a CHIPS store after searching for a franchise and visiting CHIPS at the International Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham.

“We looked at all sorts of franchises from pizza stores to car repair outfits but CHIPS was the only one which stuck in my mind,” said Faisal, who used to work for his father’s knitwear company, S.A.S. Knitwear Ltd and British Gas.

“Although my father isn’t a games player himself he can see that it is a great, fast-moving industry and, of course, for me it is a great passion. Dad wanted a proven business model and CHIPS has a lot of experience in the video games market.”

Faisal, who was born and bred in Chorlton, attended St Clement’s Primary School and Oakwood High School before studying in St Helens College and at Thames Valley University. He now lives with his parents, wife Ayshah, and two brothers in Chorlton.

CHIPS Chorlton is in Barlow Moor Road, and Faisal thinks it is an ideal location. “I really think we will do well here. The closest games stores are 15 minutes away and there is no one in the locality which trades and buys games.”

Each CHIPS store buys, sells and trades new and second-hand consoles, games, DVDs and accessories for all the major consoles such as PlayStation, Xbox, GameCube, GameBoy Advance and the Nokia N-gage. There is also a wide range of second-hand retro games for earlier Sega and Nintendo consoles.

The store also offers a PerfectPlay disc-repair service for damaged discs. “Scratched or dirty discs that jump, freeze or just don’t play at all can be repaired into “as new” condition or we will give you your money back,” said Faisal. “This is a great idea because many people have video games, CDs or PC discs lying around in a cupboard, totally useless.”

CHIPS Chorlton, which can be found at 444 Barlow Moor Road will open Monday to Saturday, from 9.30pm to 5.30pm.

Joint Managing Director Don McCabe said: “Faisal and Quisar are passionate about the industry and it is great to attract franchisees who have in depth games knowledge. Faisal’s background in Digital Arts means he will certainly be able to give his customers an insight into each new release.

“Anwar’s businesss background will also be a great boon and I am sure CHIPS Chorlton will be a great success.”

There are now six company-owned stores in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar, Darlington, Northallerton and Sunderland, and an award-winning e-commerce site, www.chipsworld.co.uk. Chorlton is the latest of 15 franchise stores which also include Bishop Auckland, Chester le-Street, Consett, Chorley, Edinburgh, Guisborough, Hartlepool, Skipton, Stafford, Lytham St Anne’s, Arnold, Letchworth, Norwich and Yeovil.

More stores are already in the pipeline including Leicestershire, Sussex, Kent and the North and franchise inquiries are received every day.

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