September 28, 2010 // Franchising.com // Leading greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection, has announced today that its London based franchisee, Atul Patel, has successfully increased the size of his business over the past year. Atul previously supplied just over 200 retail outlets with Card Connection greetings cards in South West London and he now merchandises around 500 outlets with customers including BP, Shell, Budgens and Costcutter throughout South West and South East London.
"Atul has made significant progress in growing his franchise, with unit sales up 9% on the same period last year," confirms Andrew Cutler, sales director of Card Connection. "Considering the continued challenging market conditions and the fact he has taken on new staff plus the learning curve of taking over a new area, this is an impressive achievement.
"Atul now employs a team of six people to manage the day-today aspects of the business which he operates from his storage unit," continues Cutler. "Taking on staff has allowed Atul to oversee the franchise and focus on improving key customer accounts as well as optimising outlet displays, which has been critical to his success."
Atul Patel explains: "It has been hard work to get up to speed on the new area which has effectively more than doubled the number of retail accounts we manage. However, the effort the team and myself have put into the logistics of managing a larger operation is now paying off. Between us, we optimise the management of call routes and ensure that displays of the greetings cards are always fresh and up-to-date which encourages buying behaviour. The products themselves are also particularly popular. The hand made and sound cards are some of the customer's favourite designs which means if the merchandising display and retail outlet is right they always sell really well."
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 85 franchisees.