A crisis has a way of bringing out the best in some people. Greeting Card Publishers Card Connection are proud to extend that accolade to every one of their franchisees and members of staff across the UK and Ireland.
Quick to adapt
The shock of lockdown left many companies like rabbits caught in the headlights. Not so Card Connection’s and its network. When lockdown looked a possibility, the bulk of head office staff where already moved to a ‘working from home’ mode, so could carry on regardless. When franchisees had to stop trading to adhere to government advice, these staff were already furiously planning from their safe havens for the continuation of business, come what may.
Supply and Demand
It soon became clear, as essential local stores, that the bulk of Card Connection’s customers in the convenience sector were still carrying on trading, that demand for product would continue unabated. The great general public still wanted to stay in touch and express their personal connections through buying and sending greeting cards. With the high Street stores closed, that meant ‘buying local.’
It’s Good to Talk
While Card Connection Staff stayed in contact with their key national accounts to monitor the ongoing situation, on a local basis, Card Connection franchisees where in constant communication with their outlets. When the cards on retailers’ displays started to run low, franchisees adhered to lockdown restrictions by often posting stock to a store to keep the public happy. Enterprising store managers even did their bit, using WhatsApp to send pictures, so franchisees could post them exactly the cards they needed for their displays.
The Tools for the Job
After government guidelines permitted it, Card Connection franchisees were already fully kitted out with the required PPE and the detailed procedures needed to safely protect themselves and customers, when they ventured out to service their stores.
Phoning stores before each visit, merchandising outlets very early in the morning or even out of hours helped to minimise customer disruption and maintain enhanced hygiene practices and fully observe social distancing.
Reaping the Rewards
Going ‘above and beyond’ to keep their stores supplied has not gone unnoticed, meaning the relationships between franchisees and store mangers has never been stronger. Card purchases have reflected this, with record sales across the whole Network in recent months as the great British and Irish public have proven their continuing love of the humble greeting card as a vital tool in maintaining caring relationships with friends and family.
“Thanks to all the hard work of everyone involved; be it our printers, our warehouse pickers, head office and field staff, or our tireless franchise across our network, we are one of the few winners in the current Covid environment.” explains Michael Johnson, Managing Director of Card Connection.
“This terrible virus has physically divided people, so it’s gratifying to be involved in a product which has worked to counter that in some small way, and ultimately bring people closer together.”