“Before I joined Card Connection around 13 years ago, I ran the family coal merchant business,” confirms Clive Jones, Bristol franchisee for Card Connection. “Interestingly, there are a lot of similarities: I still enjoy the benefits of being self-employed and at the same time, provide a quality product and service while looking after my valued customer base. Greeting cards just tend to be a bit cleaner than coal!”
“Despite the continued challenges in the economy, business has been great and in the past 12 months profit is up by around 12% compared with last year,” explains Jones. However, I was looking to expand my franchise further. The additional area offers much potential for growth and the chance to take advantage of economies of scale through running a larger operation.
“Currently, I am helped with the picking and pack of card ranges by my wife. My niece also works for a few hours at weekends and in the school holidays,” Jones continues. “My aim is to take on a new merchandiser to help manage the area as we gradually introduce Card Connection’s greeting card ranges into new retail outlets. It is an exciting time and we are looking forward to ‘cleaning up’ with Card Connection in the new area.”
Card Connection’s franchisees use a proven system to place quality greeting cards and gifts in retail outlets on a ‘consignment’ basis. This means the stock and display equipment are installed on free loan to the retailer. This is one step beyond ‘sale or return’ as Card Connection customers never have to buy the stock initially, only paying for what they sell.
Card Connection’s award winning merchandising service provided to retailers by local franchisees has proved popular with retailers all over the UK and Ireland including Card Connection’s key national accounts such as Spar, Nisa, Supervalue, Centra, Costcutter, Londis, Total and Shell.
Card Connection is part of UK Greetings, which is a subsidiary of the largest publicly owned greeting card publisher in the world and has limited vacancies for franchisees who are keen to run an expanding business. Suitable candidates would ideally have some management experience as, once established, and depending on the size of the territory, they could be expected to employ a small team, operate a small warehouse and have several liveried vans on the road.
Since the franchise network in the UK is 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 £20k (+stock) with earnings potential in excess of £50k per annum.