July 26, 2010 // Franchising.com // Leading greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection has announced the company has quadrupled in size within the past ten years. The latest figures revealed at the company's recent conference held in Warwickshire, show its franchisee network now sells four times the number of greetings cards that it did in 1999.
"We believe Card Connections' increased command of the market is partly due to developing the range of our quality greeting card designs from around 250 in the year 2000 to more than 1,500 today," confirms Andrew Cutler, sales director at Card Connection. "However, as well as providing a far greater diversity and range of product than our competitors, we have backed this up with a superior merchandising service from our dedicated national team of franchisees.
"The past two years have been tough for many businesses, however the Card Connection management team and our franchisees have responded with innovative ideas to keep one step ahead," explains Cutler. "Our franchisees have successfully focused on growing existing business and opening new retail accounts despite the recession and as a company we have introduced a number of new ways to help franchisees maximise profits. These include the new hand held terminals for our franchisees which dramatically cut down on admin time; the development of new point-of-sale material to improve merchandising displays as well as signing up new National Account customers, most recently including BP.
"However, most importantly, we have also introduced some top quality new designs to our product range, which have become hugely popular," continues Cutler. "During the past ten years we have seen a 40% increase in added finishes, the introduction of square cards, and growth in the tall card ranges for example. Most recently, we have added to our Gift Connection range plus our broad appeal humour greetings cards and introduced the popular high-end 'Santé Gesture' range. With themes such as nostalgia, fashion, nature and home crafts, many market segments are covered. We are now looking forward to further product additions from our in-house creative department, which, backed by the continued enthusiasm of our franchisee network, will undoubtedly take us towards our next decade of company growth."
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.