May 14, 2012 // Franchising.com // Leading greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection, has named Irish franchisee, Gabriel McGeown, as the winner of its ‘Franchisee of the Year’ award for the second year running at its annual company conference, held this year in Cheltenham. Gabriel McGeown who joined Card Connection in 2008 originally managed Armagh, South Tyrone and part of County Down but has recently expanded his franchise territory to include County Antrim, Belfast and the North Down region of Ireland.
“Gabriel McGeown is an outstanding performer,” explains Michael Johnson, Managing Director, Card Connection. “His ‘can do’ attitude ensures he approaches every opportunity positively. He has recently taken on an additional franchise territory and is already transforming the area.
“Gabriel is also a true team player and is always happy to help and share his successful experiences with other franchisees,” continues Johnson. “He has also come up with some innovative ideas to capture new business, such as equipping a one of his vehicles with a fully merchandised greeting card display to show potential retail accounts the full theatre and quality of the products. This has been hugely successful for generating new business in his region.”
Other franchisees recognised for their achievements at the conference included North East & Midlands regional winners Andy and Vicki Thompson, franchisees for Sunderland and Durham. “Andy and Vicki have been particularly proactive and have opened 47 new retail accounts in the past year,” confirms Johnson. “We were also impressed with their clever and ultra, efficient idea for pre-loading mobile displays so merchandising of greeting cards in some stores can be completed in less than five minutes.”
Atul Patel, franchisee for South West and South East London, won the regional award for South East, London & Anglia for impressive business growth, with sales up 16% compared with last year. David & Marie Clements from Cornwall also won a regional award. “The couple are an inspiration to our more rurally based franchisees, with sales up 12% in the past year,” explains Johnson.
Catherine Bartle, franchisee for Newport won the Heidi Sulley trophy for Team Spirit and Tenacity. “Catherine has showed tremendous application to build her business and has increased distribution across all Card Connection’s product categories,” explains Johnson. “She has demonstrated great teamwork with her colleague Diane and always looks at implementing Card Connection’s initiatives with her full enthusiasm.”
Card Connection is part of UK Greetings, which is a subsidiary of the largest publicly owned greeting card publisher in the world and has limited vacancies for franchisees who are keen to run an expanding business. Suitable candidates would ideally have some management experience as, once established, and depending on the size of the territory, they could be expected to employ a small team, operate a small warehouse and have several liveried vans on the road.
Since the franchise network in the UK is 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 £20k (+stock) with earnings potential in excess of £50k per annum.
For further information see: www.card-connection.co.uk
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 71 franchisees. www.card-connection.co.uk
Grapevine PR Ltd