“Over the past year we have been really focused on how to develop the business,” confirms Mike Barber. “Our efforts concentrated on a number of different areas, rather than just one aspect for improvement. For example, I have been pushing certain ranges like Card Connection’s tall cards and quality Santé collection. These cards retail at great price points and appeal to a wide customer base.
“I have added more Gift Connection and Party Accessories in-store which have also boosted sales,” continues Mike. “The new bright pink point of sale displays which were rolled out last year have helped attract attention and in addition, I have been as focused as ever, to work closely with my retail customers.
“Like me, most of my retailers run their own businesses so when we work together, what is good for them is also good for me!” confirms Mike. “I don’t think we are out of the difficult market conditions just yet, however, as my business grows, that also means my retail customers are seeing a corresponding increase in profits, so they are all pretty happy at the moment!”
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’s franchisees use a proven system to place quality greeting cards and accessories such as gift bags, wrap and party products, 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 across 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.