March 16, 2009 // Franchising.com // Leading greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection, has today announced that its franchisee for the Chesterfield area is set on growing his business despite the widely publicised economic downturn. Paul Du Toit has recently purchased the neighbouring franchise territory of Lincolnshire to more than double the size of his region which now incorporates more than 250 retail outlets.
"When I first bought the Card Connection franchise at the end of 2006 I was intent on growing the business," explains Du Toit. "I was keen to take advantage of the economies of scale that running a larger operation can offer and this combined with my previous management experience in the retail sector is already proving a successful combination. To assist with the extra work load I have already hired an additional part-time store merchandiser and warehouse assistant in addition to a student who helps put stock away.
"The advantage that Card Connection has over its competitors is the superb quality and innovative design of its extensive greeting card ranges," continues Du Toit. "The company is also strong on seasonal activity and can support retailers with appropriate displays, stock and the all important service elements which prove an invaluable proposition to retail customers again and again."
Card Connection itself is one of the UK's largest card publishers and is the market leader in the franchised distribution of greeting cards. Using a proven system, franchisees place greeting card ranges in retail outlets on a 'consignment' basis. The award winning merchandising service provided to retailers by local franchisees is second-to-none and has established the company's excellent reputation especially within the convenience sector. Card Connection franchisees also supply the company's national account network which includes the likes of Netto, Budgens, Londis, Spar and Shell.
"Paul is a highly experienced manager and has spent many years in the retail trade so knows what is important to his retail customers," explains Andrew Cutler, franchise and sales director of Card Connection. "Although our most successful franchisees do not have Paul's extensive level of experience, since joining the company he has certainly put his knowledge to good use by increasing profit margins significantly. However, Paul is a team player and has been very happy to share the secrets of his success with other franchisees for the benefit of the whole Card Connection team and we certainly wish him well with his future expansion plans."
Card Connection has limited vacancies for franchisees who are keen to run an expanding business. Successful candidates would ideally have some management experience as, once established, they would be expected to employ a small team, operate a warehouse and have several liveried vans on the road.
Because the franchise networks in the UK and Ireland are complete, the available opportunities now consist of acquiring an already-established territory from an existing franchisee. These vary in price according to their level of development, but start at £20,000 (+ stock) with earnings potential in excess of £50,000 per annum.
Card Connection is one of the UK's most successful card publishers and is the market leader in the franchised distribution of greeting cards.
The company was established in 1992 and became a Full Member of the British Franchise Association in 1995. It now distributes greeting cards to around 15,000 outlets through its network of franchisees.