ormer Card Connection Regional Sales Manager, Penny Ellis, has shown that you can successfully go from employee to franchisee after having a successful first year with her husband Colin when taking over the franchise in September 2017, even recording a record sales month this July.
Taking over the Windsor/Reading territory in Berkshire as a franchise resale, they now deliver Card Connection’s extensive range of quality greeting cards, gift wrap, bags and accessories to retail outlets throughout their region.
Prior to joining Card Connection in 2013, Penny spent six years working as Area Manager for Cardies, a specialist franchise greeting card retailer in South Africa and a further two years for South African Greetings. She put this extensive knowledge of the greetings cards sector into action and has seen the Card Connection franchise flourish.
Penny explained why she thought it was a good opportunity for herself and her husband to become franchisees of Card Connection:
“I have been impressed over the years by Card Connection’s product range as an employee,” confirms Penny. “When this territory became available we were very interested, as Colin was the merchandiser for the previous franchisee so we knew it would be a great business to invest in. With support from Head Office in Farnham, Surrey, the Card Connection team are a strong, dynamic and forward thinking organisation that we were keen to invest in.”
When Colin & Penny bought their Card Connection territory, it was one of the busiest times of the year for greeting card sales. However, with their previous experience, they were quickly able to optimise the opportunity this franchise could bring.
“A testament to their hard work came in July 2018, when they achieved the highest ever everyday monthly sales for this territory,” states Card Connection Managing Director Michael Johnson. “Knowing Penny and Colin, we expect this to be the first of many more record sales months!”
Colin & Penny describe themselves as ‘real people people’, who as small business owners have lots in common with the retail managers. They have used their skills and knowledge to build relationships quickly with key accounts to manage a seamless handover of the territory.
Penny continues: “Each day, we are generally on the road early visiting as many as 12 stores, depending on their size and location. The geographical area covers Windsor, Maidenhead, Bracknell, Reading and Basingstoke. We merchandise the displays by taking out unsold stock and replacing it with the latest designs and seasonal products. Colin aims to be back home late afternoon to help prepare for the following day’s deliveries. We have worked really hard over the past year to get the franchise running efficiently and it now has a lot more potential to grow.”
Here’s to another successful year.