May 11, 2010 // Franchising.com // Leading greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection recognised its best franchisees, at its annual conference held in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire last week. Andy and Vicki Thomson, franchisees for Sunderland and Durham, won the top award for their outstanding overall performance, while Clive Jones of Bristol was awarded the Heidi Sulley Commemorative Cup – a special prize for tenacity and team spirit.
"Andy and Vicki Thomson's unit sales have been up 27.5% year on year since they joined Card Connection in 2004," explains Andrew Cutler, sales director at Card Connection. "With 19 months' continuous business growth, 22 new retail accounts opened last year, plus more than 30 referrals from existing customers in last two years, it was clear that Andy and Vicki really deserved this coveted award.
"However, unlike previous years, we did not judge our franchisees purely on their business performance," continues Cutler. "We also considered how they fit into the Card Connection team. Andy and Vicki for example, are always happy to share ideas and best practice with other franchisees and they regularly speak to others in the network to encourage and offer support. It is this accommodating and positive approach that also sets them apart."
As well as the awards ceremony, which also recognised regional franchisees' achievements, new products and point of sale solutions were on display during the conference. In addition, senior management presentations and practical break out sessions were arranged for franchisees to learn more about subjects like staffing, IT and general business management.
Card Connection has limited UK 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 85 franchisees.