Former convenience store owner, Asif Malik and his team are now responsible for delivering and merchandising Card Connection's extensive range of quality greeting cards and gifts to more than 350 retailers, which include the likes of Netto, Budgens, Londis, Spar and Shell.
"I joined Card Connection in 2009 after working with the company for around eight years as a retail customer," confirms Asif Malik, Birmingham franchisee for Card Connection. “My business distributing Card Connection’s greeting cards has been thriving, but when the opportunity to purchase the neighbouring territory came up recently, I jumped at the chance to expand my franchise operation further!
"My team also needed to grow and so we have purchased a new van and hired two more merchandisers – one who is solely dedicated to prospecting and opening new accounts. Our greeting card picker and packer, my wife and myself now make up a team of five," explains Malik. "We are all now focused on an aggressive marketing strategy to expand the reach of the business and with new and exciting greeting card releases available from Card Connection’s dedicated design department every single week, retailers are always keen to take our stock.
"From more than 1,500 designs we cover seasonal cards, occasions, humour, hand-made and everyday cards, plus a high-quality gift and party accessory range which is always popular," continues Malik. “The sheer variety and quality of the products often seems to put us out of reach of the competition and, backed by the support of the Card Connection head office team, who are always on hand for advice when we need it, we anticipate the new area will be great news for our franchise business."
Card Connection is part of UK Greetings, the largest publicly owned greeting card publisher in the world and 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 £50K per annum.