Greeting card distribution franchise Card Connection has reported that its franchise owners for the Canterbury/Dover region have seen an increase in trading. Business partners Jason Hook and Vanessa Culliford have reported a 27 per cent increase in trading compared with sales figures for the same period last year.
Andrew Cutler, Card Connection's Franchise and Sales Director, said: 'Jason Hook and partner Vanessa Culliford joined Card Connection two years ago. In the past six months they have been focused on growing their business and have started to work with an additional 53 retail sites. This increases their portfolio of Card Connection retail customers to well over 200 stores and as a result, they have seen a significant uplift in sales figures.'
Jason commented that their success was down to: 'Hard work and a focus on expanding the business through new retail customers. Our target is to get at least one new retailer to stock our Card Connection greeting cards each week and by calling on outlets, from farm shops to florists - in addition to larger retail stores, we are easily achieving this.
'Interestingly, we are not seeing the effects of recession. Our sales figures are well up on last year and we have been able to improve our profit margins by stocking more premium product. The future looks bright and within the next 12 months we are aiming to employ an additional merchandiser and buy a new van to manage the growth of the business.'
Vanessa added: 'We always aim to provide excellent personalised customer service throughout our 235 customers. We are always on call and tailor our displays and diary to meet the needs of each shop; the customer always comes first. We have gained a great deal of extra space within existing outlets simply by being reliable and friendly.'
Card Connection franchise owners place greeting card ranges in retail outlets on a 'consignment' basis. This means the stock and display equipment is installed on free loan to the retailer and customers do not have to buy stock but only pay for what they sell.
There are limited vacancies for franchise owners 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.
Due to the fact that the franchise networks in the UK and Ireland are complete, the available opportunities now consist of acquiring an already-established territory from an existing franchise owner. These vary in price according to their level of development, but started at £20,000 (+ stock) with earning potential in excess of £50,000 per annum.
Published: 15 June 2009
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