After 16 year as a franchisee with greeting card supplier Card Connection, nothing gives Martin Sweeney more of a buzz than installing new displays, reviewing their sales and then challenging himself on how can improve them.
His drive an enthusiasm has seen him expand his territory from Wakefield, back in 2005, to also take on Stockport, Sheffield and extend into Bradford.
The very first outlet he visited, Yogi Stores in Barnsley, is still one of his customers. Such loyalty to Martin is important and proves how customer-focused he is.
“I still remember it took me one and a half hours to merchandise that one small display,” laughs Martin. “Fortunately, I’ve got a lot slicker since then; which is just as well as I now have 305 stores to merchandise!”
It’s certainly been a long road and Martin has seen enormous changes to the business.
“When I started out it was all paper invoices, but technology has taken me though bulky handheld terminals right up to the clever dinky little iPads I use today. I’ve gone from a small estate car, to a small transit van, to high-end large commercial vehicle. The breadth of cards I can supply has grown and changed immensely, and I can now offer two entire ranges of cards, depending on what’s best for the particular store.”
For John Coe, Regional Sales Manager at Card Connection, Martin is pleasure to work with.
“He’s a superb franchisee’ agrees John. ‘Always really positive, and a huge advocate of the product he supplies. Martin is admired across our network for how he operates his franchise, and for his enthusiastic sharing of ideas and advice’.
“Martin runs the business with his partner Gill and is very family orientated,” adds John, “And he’s certainly a key member within the wider Card Connection Family.”