Like most companies going into the pandemic, Card Connection were facing the unknown.
As in keeping with the response from the general public, businesses and organisations cross the land, it’s ultimately people that got us through.
The whole Card Connection family comprising our network of franchisees, our head office staff, and our support infrastructure involving our Parent Company UKG Greetings all pulled together to thwart the best efforts of the terrible pandemic to beat us down.
The results speak for themselves.
In the space of a year we’ve gone from ’Lockdown 1’ with 95% of our staff on furlough and franchisees unable to merchandise stores, to the whole business growing sales by over 20%p.a. compared to pre-pandemic levels.
How did we do this?
The flexibility and agility of all parts of the business to adapt to the ever-changing government rulings has been truly impressive. From franchisees initially posting stock to stores because of travel restrictions, to them merchandising stores early in the morning or late at night to help with the challenges of social distancing, to the bulk of our staff working from home, willing to develop new and creative ways to keep all part of the business operating smoothly by jumping though whatever hoops Covid threw at them. Meanwhile our supply chain has done us proud, moving heaven and earth for us under the same unprecedented pressures to ourselves.
As we supply greeting cards to the convenience sector, deemed essential stores, changes in shopping habits meant a huge growth in demand. With restrictions kept families apart, greeting cards were a natural means to stay in touch and still share in some of life’s important events with those people we could no longer see face-to-face. For Card Connection this was the pandemic’s silver lining.
Our business has had to evolve with the changes constantly happening. We have invested heavily in our office building, having a fresh air ventilation system installed, spacing staff out to help them feel more comfortable with returning to the office and even piloting hybrid working patterns which will allow staff to work from home for part of the week to aid their work/life balance.
With the vaccines doing their job, and restrictions lifting, Card Connection finds itself in excellent shape. The team-ethic that has got the whole of the business through the last 16 months has brought huge positives for the moral of staff and franchisees alike. Relationships with all our customers have never been better, as they are fully appreciative the many ways we’ve gone above and beyond to keep them supplied.
Unfortunately, not every business has been able to weather the storm. Thankfully the products we supply have proven to be as relevant as ever, and Card Connection’s dedicated team of staff and franchisees have combined to provide a level of service to retailers that has been second to none.