Description: Card Connection is the UK's No 1 greeting card franchise, servicing over 15,000 outlets in Britain and Ireland. Opportunities: Re-sale franchises now available in the UK. Export opportunities elsewhere. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Investment: £40,000. Training Provided: Yes. Home-based: Yes.
David Roseweir case study
David Roseweir joined Card Connection as their franchisee for Stirling and Perth in 2007. He now supplies Card Connection’s extensive range of greetings cards and accessories to more than 300 retailers in Scotland.
“The past few years have been a blur!” explains David Roseweir. “Previously I was a franchisee for Esso but when it became a company owned operation it was time for a new challenge. Card Connection used to supply the Esso station and the set up impressed me from the outset.
“Card Connection franchisees place the stock in retail outlets on a ‘consignment’ basis. This means the stock and display equipment is installed on free loan to the retailer. This is one step beyond ‘sale or return’ as Card Connection retail customers never have to buy the stock in the first place, only paying for what they sell. The award-winning merchandising service provided to retailers by local franchisees is second to none and has established the company’s excellent reputation especially within the convenience sector.
“Since start-up, it’s been pretty full on!” continues David. “Particuarly as I also have a young family. I have grown my Card Connection franchise originally acquiring Stirling and Perth then adding Edinburgh in 2009. I also added a further 100 retail outlets to my customer base by purchasing the Dundee and Kirkcaldy territory.
“It’s hard work and you need to be organised – particularly with call routes as the geographical area I cover is substantial. It stretches from North of Cumbernauld to Rannoch and from Drymen at the tip of Stirlingshire to East Lothian and into Dundee.
“I’m on the road early to avoid the traffic and tend to work four long days with Wednesday usually at home to prepare greetings cards ready for delivery or follow up outstanding leads. My wife Dawna helps out a lot and I also have a young part-timer who also makes up boxes of cards.
“The highlight of the role has to be the products which are great! Card Connection’s in-house design team have new card releases coming out every week and they are all so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The vibrant, innovative designs also have a wide appeal and they even do the traditionally tricky sends well such as ‘male birthday’ where there is plenty of choice for customers.
“However, it’s also great ensuring my retail customers are happy. For example, I recently installed a brand new display and the look on the customer’s face was a picture. It was really satisfying to see how delighted he was with the stunning greeting card display I had created in his store.
“If I had to offer advice to a new franchisee or anyone considering franchising it would be to be prepared to work hard as your efforts will be rewarded. However, also select a franchisor who will offer support because inevitably there will be a few tough times and you may well need some help.
“Would I do it all again? Yes, absolutely!”
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 about 12,000 retailers throughout the UK.
Card Connection is a division of UK Greetings, which in turn 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.
Card Connection currently has territories available in the North of England and Scotland including: Kingston upon Hull, Southport/Wigan, Ayr/Kilmarnock, Edinburgh and Lanarkshire.
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