Joe Sweeney who won the Card Connection ‘Franchisee of the year award’ for five consecutive years while he built his business states: “I have been a Card Connection franchisee for the past nine years and I have continually developed my Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Leitrim, Roscommon & Galway area. Extending my coverage to the neighbouring region made complete sense, as the economies of scale gained have resulted in increased opportunity for a higher volume of sales and added a new challenge. With my team I now service almost 400 retail outlets with a buying population of just over a million people.
“We already had a substantial operation, including 1800sq.ft of warehousing,” he continues. “However, I have now grown my merchandising staff by two, so there are now four of us on the road plus myself and two part time pickers/ packers based in the warehouse. We have also purchased five new vans over the past year, which enable us to carry sufficient stock to be away for a week if necessary, but not so big that they are uneconomical. At Christmas – which is the busiest time of year for card sales - we hire in large transit vans to enable us to distribute the volume of stock that is required.”
Card Connection itself is one of the UK’s largest card publishers and is the market leader in the franchised distribution of greeting cards. Using a proven system, franchisees place greeting card ranges in retail outlets on a ‘consignment’ basis. The award winning merchandising service provided to retailers by local franchisees is second to none and has established the company’s excellent reputation especially within the convenience sector.
Joe Sweeney puts his success down to: “A strong Card Connection franchisee network which offers unparalleled customer service in addition to good quality product which is regularly reviewed and refreshed and broadened. Importantly, customers only pay for what they sell which is a huge bonus to retailers in these recessionary times.”
Card Connection has limited vacancies for franchisees who are keen to run an expanding business. Successful candidates would ideally have some management experience as, once established, they would be expected to employ a small team, operate a warehouse and have several liveried vans on the road.
Because the franchise networks in the UK and Ireland are complete, the available opportunities now consist of acquiring an already-established territory from an existing franchisee. These vary in price according to their level of development, but start at £20,000 (+ stock) with earnings potential in excess of £50,000 per annum.