Clare Burnett

Ramsdens ‘electronic revolution’ starts in Leeds

Ramsdens, the UK’s largest independent pawnbrokers, have expanded further into Leeds with their first branch exclusively focused on buying and selling pre-owned mobile phones and tablets.

Mobile phones and tablets have replaced old gold rings and silver necklaces in the pilot store on Briggate, and should the Leeds store prove a success, it could be the first of dozens more around the country.

Ramsdens has more than 120 stores around the UK, including a more traditional branch close by on Kirkgate and 21 more throughout Yorkshire.

But Yorkshire-born Andy Lacey, Briggate’s new store manager, says the company is looking to diversify. He said: “We’re moving into a new market and it’s exciting to be in at the start of what could see Ramsdens roll this out across the country,”

“We have a loyal customer base and jewellery remains very popular but the younger generation don’t necessarily want or have gold and silver jewellery to pawn.

“We’re giving a growing number of customers what they want by trading pre-used tablets and mobile phones at affordable prices.

“It’s a new ball game for Ramsdens and a new challenge for me, but there’s every reason to believe this could be a massive success.”

The company has run a mobile phone recycling service for some time but has never previously retailed them. Now, after being thoroughly data cleansed of personal details of previous owners, some of the very best handsets Ramsdens receive nationally will be placed for sale in Briggate – including iPhone, Samsung, Sony and HTC.

Ramsdens have increased their branch network from 39 in 2009 to their present total of 124. Nationally, they employ more than 500 staff.

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