Leading greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection, is celebrating 25 years as a franchisor! The Company, established in 1992, became a full member of the British Franchise Association (BFA) in 1995 and its award-winning business model has enabled hundreds of franchisees to run successful businesses distributing cards and accessories to retailers across the UK and Ireland.
Michael Johnson, managing director, Card Connection confirms: “We currently have 67 franchisees and our operation has been designed to allow franchisees to create a solid and profitable self-employed business for the benefit of themselves and their families. The average time a franchisee stays with Card Connection is eight years and some well over 20 years!
“When you have a good look at other business opportunities, some are simply not sustainable long-term or the franchisor turns out to have a patchy financial history or the business idea maybe so new it is yet to be proven,” explains Johnson. “Becoming a franchisee is about minimising the risk of self-employment and one of the reasons Card Connection franchisees have been so successful over the years is that’s been our aim.
“As a franchisor, we are heavily invested in our franchisees doing well,” continues Johnson. “The more greetings cards they sell, the better we do as a company and so it’s a win-win situation. As a result, our team is dedicated to supporting our network in every way we can. For example: our focus on product development leads the industry and we have recently introduced major new range of greeting cards. More than a year in development, 122 new designs, bring the ‘boutique card shop’ look to the convenience sector for the first time.
“We have ten full-time head office staff who manage 100 national retail accounts on behalf of our franchise network. In recent years, we have also invested over £300k in the development of hand held terminals for franchisees to streamline admin in addition to new point-of-sale displays designed to improve sales. Card Connection’s whole ethos is to support our franchisees both nationwide and individually, to enable them to run profitable businesses and we are proud to have achieved this over the past quarter of a century and look forward to continuing to work with our network to help grow their franchises in the future.”
Martin Rolfe, Card Connection franchisee for 24 years explains: “I have built-up my franchise and now supply 220 retail stores with Card Connection’s extensive range of quality greeting cards and accessories. I place the greeting cards in retail outlets on a ‘consignment’ basis. I also supply the display equipment free on loan to the retailer, minimising retailers’ costs and maximising their profits. This is one step beyond ‘sale or return’ as Card Connection’s retail customers don’t have to buy the stock initially; they only pay for what they sell. The merchandising service is a simple concept and is always popular.”
Card Connection is part of UK Greetings, which is a subsidiary of American Greetings Inc., one of the largest greetings card publishers in the world. Since the franchise network in the UK and Ireland is complete, the available opportunities for franchisees joining the network 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 £12,5k + Stock + Card Connection fee with earnings potential in excess of £50k per annum.
Territories currently available include: South West Ireland, Fife, Edinburgh/Scottish Borders, Stirling, Brighton, Plymouth, Bath, Northampton, Liverpool and Macclesfield.
For further information about franchises for sale, please see: www.card-connection.co.uk