When David & Sherran Patient took over the Card Connection franchise for Chelmsford, they already had a head start. As ex-retailers themselves, they knew the challenges their customers faced. Plus having stocked Card Connection’s greeting cards as ex-customers, they knew the range and had total confidence in the product they would be supplying. Offer highest levels of customer service and standards of merchandising. The devil is in the detail and make card displays stand out with all merchandising principles used to best effect.
David explains, “We’d expanded our store throughout 20+ years of trading, it’s fair to say we knew a few tricks of the trade! Sherran’s wealth of experience of managing a busy Post Office was also another huge asset in helping run their new franchise.”
David and Sherran’s approach are to apply the old saying ‘Retail is detail’ to all aspects of their business. Excellent planning converting an old barn in their garden to become their new store room, ensured they got off to the very best start. “Our multi award winning back ground in forecourts – convenience and post office at highest levels has enabled us to reach out to a majority of our customers who are in these fields and help them to grow their business and their trust and support. We can talk to them at their level and in their language and understand their business and pressures they face, as we have been there.” David goes onto say.
Purchasing a fully livered van was also key in making sure they were ready for their first day of merchandising, after completing the handover from outgoing franchisees Paul and Jenny Davis.
After an initial period of getting to grips with their new business, David & Sherran have already increased territory sales. “We have achieved 15% growth for period January – June 2020 over January – June 2019 (A growth of £12k in six months to our turnover. £2K per month). Achieved through hardwork and team work within our family and determination. Our daughter and son Lucy and Bradley are all very much part of team and success.” Says Sherran who looks after the office side of things for the business.
They offer the highest levels of customer service and standards of merchandising. The devil is in the detail and make card displays stand out with all merchandising principles used to best effect. David & Sherran have studied the data, changed and improved planograms introducing higher value stock where possible and upselling to improve turnover and profitability. Using the data, they have prioritized customers into categories and call cycles to reflect their turnover, this has had a very positive effect on turnover and customer service levels.
They are currently developing a computer system for customer call cycles and efficiency and have invested in new display equipment where needed to best effect. They have moved displays wherever possible in consultation with retailers to better locations and hotter spots in shop with better customer footfall flows/exposure. Increased card space wherever possible, most at expense of competitors. Invested in seasonal FDUs to place in prime spots in shop, this has paid off very well. Worked on removing any substandard POS at site and replacing with new and getting clear pricing on displays for customers. Speaking from experience this is important when customers shop in identifying products / prices and overall professionalism of outlet.
We received valuable help from Paul Davis the previous franchisee in the early days just after handover which was great, and he still helps us out on occasion. Kevin Miles who is on the neighbouring territory and supplied our shop is a great guy and always on hand with advice and help. Comradery with Kevin and all the other franchisees as a whole great. Our RSM Andy B has also been there to offer encouragement and support whenever needed.
The couple’s very high standards, means always looking to improve upon all elements of the business, including the processes of stock ordering and management, plus a variety of improvements in the administration of the business.
What a team and what fantastic achievements within their first year of trading as a Card Connection franchisee.