From Merchandiser to Franchisee


There are few commitments you can make to a new job more positive than moving house and home to a new location. That’s exactly Bhaumik Shah did when he invested in Card Connection’s Swindon territory, back in June 2018.
“I’d been a merchandiser for another franchisee,” said Bhaumik, “So I knew exactly what the business involved when he recommended me to Card Connection’s head office as being a suitable prospective franchisee for Swindon. I knew what I needed to do to make the area work, and the obvious move I had to make was to be based there. Fortunately the outgoing franchisee was very accommodating by letting me use his storeroom until I could find a property and get moved in.” Bhaumik-1.jpg
Bhaumik has had to adapt his merchandising practice to take into account the differences his Wiltshire territory has from the area of London that he used to operate in under his old boss. “London is quite impersonal and is more fast-paced, with more time travelling between stores and cosmopolitan customer base to contend with,” said Bhaumik. “By comparison, Swindon is relaxed and you get to spend more time talking to the store owners. That means you get a stronger feel for the custom base for each store and can tailor your displays accordingly.”
“My first surprise was that the product mix can be quite different to what I was used to in London, especially in areas with an older population who are looking for a more traditional type of card,” explained Bhaumik.
Card Connection’s Managing Director Michael Johnson is delighted with Bhaumik’s early progress; “He has 105 stores, about 50% of which are in Swindon and 50% in the surrounding areas. Once he has finished with Christmas and then the following Spring Seasons we are already discussing the possibility of him expanding into the adjoining territory, at which point his wife Neha will also become involved in the business to help Bhaumik manage the expanded store base.”