Vicki Thompson explains: “I took up running when we started the franchise. I now train, running about 20 miles a week with my local club: Jarrow & Hebburn AC. This year I’ve competed at the National Cross Country Championships in London, as well as the Northern Cross Country in Pontefract, Northern Women’s Relays in Liverpool and the British Masters Cross Country in Wales. Although being a Card Connection franchisee is not hugely demanding physically, exercise keeps me mentally fit. It’s like ‘wind-down’ time after work. But it can be helpful if I need to move boxes in the warehouse too!
“When we acquired the franchise we ran it from an upstairs bedroom in our house,” explains Ex Royal Navy Petty Officer, Andy. “We now turnover five times the sum we did when we started out and now work from our 1000 square foot warehouse on Tyneside. We have grown the franchise from around 110 retail accounts to over 300 retail outlets during that time.
“However finding some work-life balance is important,” continues Andy. “I don’t run but I’m a regular golfer! Vicki plays too and it’s good to get time away from the business occasionally. It means we can stay enthusiastic and as a result, the franchise figures continue to look good. We are around 3% up on last year which is a solid performance in a mature and established market like ours.”
“Vicki and Andy’s achievements over the years as franchisees continue to be impressive,” confirms Michael Johnson, managing director, Card Connection. “Finding time to keep fit and active ensures they are always ready for business and have been both great contributors and an inspiration to our whole network over the past decade.”
Card Connection franchisees supply greeting cards and accessories in retail outlets on a ‘consignment’ basis, also supplying the display equipment free on loan if appropriate, minimising the retailers’ costs and maximising their profits. This is one step beyond ‘sale or return’ as retail customers don’t have to buy the stock initially; they only pay for what they sell. Card Connection’s award winning merchandising service provided to retailers has proved popular all over the UK and Ireland, giving franchisees an advantage over competitors.
Card Connection is one of the UK’s largest card publishers and is the market leader in the franchised distribution of greeting cards. The business’ unique model of consignment sales has resulted in a strong brand and established reputation which has been proven over many years. Through its franchisees Card Connection supplies around 12,000 retailers throughout the UK.
Card Connection is part of UK Greetings, which is a subsidiary of American Greetings Inc., one of the largest greeting card publishers in the world and has limited vacancies for franchisees that are keen to run an expanding business. 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 £7k + Stock + Card Connection fee with earnings potential in excess of £50k per annum.