When Munawar Mohammed took over Card Connection’s Aberdeen territory in 2016, his initial enthusiasm for attacking his new challenge was bound to make an impact. However, three years later, he’s still not showing the slightest sign of slowing down.
“I’m always looking for ways to offer a better service,” Munawar explains, “So I keep detailed records for each of my stores and use their sales data to drive better future performances by really understanding what customers want and what they might be missing out on.”
Growing his business by nearly 30% in three years, Munawar’s strategy of maximising his sales in each outlet by investing in new display fixtures, installing the widest possible product range, coupled with a brave decision to trade up to higher priced product across all his stores, has proved a hit with both store owners and customers alike.
Munawar has made his impact on Card Connection’s franchise network, too, by winning the top prize as Franchisee of the year in 2018 and then in 2019 the award for the Northern & Scotland regional performer.
As his franchise territory covers such a wide area of Scotland, sticking to well-planned routes and regular merchandising schedules has been key to his success. “Gaining the trust of all my retail customers by being highly dependable has also been crucial,” explains Munawar, “And cultivating good relationships with Area Managers has further cemented my position as sole greeting card supplier to the bulk of the stores that I merchandise.”
One area Munawar has paid particular attention to recently, is with his Seasonal ranges. “It started with Christmas 2018, when I copied the high street by getting my cards into stores early,” he explained. “In our convenience sector stores, we’ll always capture those last minute distress purchases, so my extra sales have come from those organised people who are prepared to shop for their cards early. This year, I followed the same pattern with Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and even Easter. Sales have shown it’s definitely a strategy worth sticking with.”