“Tony Lees joined Card Connection at the start of this year and has already upgraded his territory to include these important additional geographical areas,” confirms Andrew Cutler, sales and franchise director of Card Connection. “We call these larger franchises ‘Platinum regions’ as by creating economies of scale through running a more substantial business, franchisees can create greater profits.”
Tony Lees has around 30 years experience in the wholesale and retail industry working for companies including Canny's of Clonara, Mangans Wholesale and Musgrave. “I spent a significant amount of time researching the Card Connection franchise business model before buying into the company,” explains Tony Lees.
“I liked the consignment approach which allows me to place greeting cards and display equipment with a retailer while the store only pays for what it sells. This model works particularly well even in times of economic downturn and so I know, long term, this business has huge potential. In addition, the staff at Card Connection are particularly supportive and although you work for yourself, the head office team is really organised and geared to helping franchisees just when they need it.”
Tony Lees works with his brother Denny, sister Geraldine and Tom Reddan who are employed by the business. He says: “but I couldn't manage without the support I get from my wife Jo, daughter Jill, son Tommy and son-in-law John.” The team is currently supplying around 240 forecourts, and convenience retail stores in his South West Ireland territory with Card Connection’s extensive range of quality greeting cards and gifts. Tony plans to grow this number of retail accounts by another 30% within the next year.
Card Connection has limited vacancies for franchisees who are keen to run a growing 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.