Meet our Franchisees
Running a Card Connection Franchise in Scotland
Former Esso station manager, Graeme Ewing, took over the Card Connection Ayr/Kilmarnock territory in 2010. Graeme now delivers Card Connection’s extensive range of quality greeting cards and gifts to retail outlets throughout the Scottish region.
“I have been impressed over the years by Card Connection’s product range as an Esso retail customer,” confirms Graeme Ewing. “Therefore, when the territory became available I was very interested in learning more about how the company worked. When I visited the head office, in Farnham, Surrey, I found the Card Connection team made up a strong, dynamic and forward thinking organisation and one which I was keen to join.”
Graeme purchased his Card Connection territory in December which is one of the busiest times of the year for greeting card sales. However, with his previous retail experience, Graeme was quickly up to speed and was able to optimise the opportunity that this franchise could bring.
Graeme describes himself as a real ‘people person’ with lots in common with the retail managers. He used these skills and knowledge to build relationships quickly with key accounts to manage a seamless handover of the territory. When he originally purchased the franchise he supplied around 90 retailers with Card Connection’s quality range of greetings cards and accessories. He has built the business up over the past four years and now delivers to 140 outlets and there is still plenty of room for development.
“I have also invested in the business,” explains Graeme. “The majority of my clients now have new display units which show off the stock better, encouraging customers to make a purchase. The display units are installed on ‘free loan’ with the retailer only paying for what they sell so many of my outlets now have over 2 meters of cards on show in their stores, which means I can create a really attractive display.
“The design quality of cards themselves is fabulous. The head of Card Connection’s in-house design team has a genuine understanding for the market and really cares about what the franchisees are putting out there. I also like the accessories, such as the bottle bags, wrap and party products which add a further string to my bow!
“Each day, I’m generally on the road early visiting between three and 15 stores, depending on their size and location. It’s an expansive geographical area which covers parts of Paisley, parts of Glasgow, Ayr and Kilmarnock as well as other towns and rural villages. I merchandise the displays by taking out old stock and replacing it with the latest designs and seasonal product. I aim to be back home around 3pm to prepare for the following day’s deliveries. I’ve worked really hard over the past few years to get the franchise running well and it is really beginning to ‘function’ now and the franchise has a lot more potential to grow too.”
Card Connection Recognises Success in Scotland
Card Connection has announced Scottish franchisee, Elaine Anderson, has won the company’s Regional Franchisee of the Year Award. Elaine has supplied Card Connection’s range of quality greetings cards and accessories to around 170 retailers in the Glasgow and Fort William area since 2013.
“Each year we recognise six regional franchisees who have been outstanding throughout the year,” confirms Andrew Henderson, regional sales manager, Card Connection. “In the past 12 months Elaine has invested in her franchise by taking on a part-time staff member to help pack the greetings cards ready for delivery. She has also purchased a second liveried vehicle so both herself and her son, Jamie, who also works full time in the business, can both be out on the road visiting retailers at the same time.
“Elaine is also an early adopter of our new software application, specifically developed for our network, which enables franchisees to run their entire franchised business ‘on the move’ from an iPad,” continues Henderson. “We have also worked on re-organising and increasing the size of the stock room too which helps for more efficient movement of product.
“As a result, Elaine’s hard work, focus on customer service plus her enthusiasm and attention to detail has all resulted in increased sales. We are delighted to name Elaine as our Regional Franchisee of the Year for Scotland.”
Elaine Anderson comments: “I am surprised and thrilled to be named as winner of this award! However, it is down to a team effort. My son Jamie and my assistant Megan have made this possible. In addition, the support of all the Card Connection team has been second to none, you couldn’t ask for more from a franchisor.”
“For potential franchisees interesting in following in Elaine’s footsteps we currently have two franchised businesses for sale in Scotland,” confirms Henderson. “Edinburgh and the Scottish borders has excellent road links and a good retail client base. Separately, the Stirling area is for sale which also has an established customer base and is being sold by the current franchisee as he wishes to become involved in his family's business. Both these businesses represent the opportunity to become self-employed, earning money from day one by supplying Card Connection’s award winning greetings cards and accessories to retailers. Full hand-over, training and support will be provided to new franchisees joining our network of almost 70 franchisees nationwide.”