“The Irish Franchise Awards are sponsored by Ulster Bank and recognise excellence in franchising, rewarding the outstanding achievements of businesses and individuals through highlighting their contribution to the growth and development of ethical franchising in Ireland,” confirms Michael Johnson, managing director, Card Connection. “We are delighted that the hard work and dedication of Tony Lees has been recognised through finalist selection in two categories.”
Having retired from a successful career in the FMCG industry Tony Lees joined Card Connection as a franchisee in 2008. He now works with his team of five to supply and merchandise Card Connection’s quality greeting card ranges to around 230 retail stores in the counties Limerick, South Tipperary, Waterford, Cork & Kerry.
David McKee, Card Connection Business Development Manager for Ireland confirms: “Tony hit the ground running with his franchise. Never have times been tougher in Ireland than in the past few years and yet Tony has started up one of our most successful franchises during that time. His grasp of data and figures and his ability to analyse them has allowed him to approach the franchise by keeping the end game of profitability at the heart of what he achieves with his team. However, he also understands that customer relationships and highest service levels lead to success and has his team focused on delivering every time.”
The winners of the Ulster Bank IFA Franchisee of the Year Awards will be announced at a formal black-tie awards ceremony at The Clyde Court Hotel in Dublin on 11 October.
Card Connection is one of the Ireland and the UKs most successful card publishers and is the market leader in the franchised distribution of greeting cards. The company was established in 1992 and became a Full Member of the Irish Franchise Association in 2003 and the British Franchise Association in 1995. It now distributes greeting cards to around 14,000 outlets through its network of 69 franchisees.
Card Connection is part of UK Greetings, which is a subsidiary of one of the largest greeting card publishers in the world and has limited vacancies for franchisees that 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 Ireland and 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 £7k + Stock + Card Connection fee with earnings potential in excess of £50k per annum.
Territories currently available include: Southend-on-Sea, Plymouth, Nottingham/Grantham, Manchester, Cardiff, Southport/Wigan, Macclesfield/Buxton, Dundee/Kirkcaldy.