Franchise card publisher diversifies into toys and stationery to build business with retailers
After the recent purchase of OPC by Cathay Investments earlier this year, OPC has been granted access to the Perkins Group, the Cathay-owned toy and stationery business, which has opened up an array of different product lines to retailers. Perkins Group distributes toys, stationery, greeting cards and other non-food items into 4000 multi-site retailers and smaller independents across the UK.
“Through access to Perkins Group, OPC now has a much larger product range to offer its retailers, including seasonal goods, toys and stationery,” says Kevin Johnson, Finance Director of Cathay Investments. “Perkins Group will be able to provide its retailers with a much stronger greeting card offering from OPC. It’s a win-win situation for both Perkins and OPC, who are able to access a wider customer base and give retailers a more complete product offering.”
Perkins and OPC cover about 10,000 retailers between them and Kevin says: “There is some crossover, but on the whole they have a separate customer base. We saw OPC as a great opportunity with its strong greeting card business and knowledgeable, experienced team.”
Founded in 1991, OPC distributes greeting cards, gift wrap and gift bags, selling a large range printed at the likes of Loxleys, the Windles Group, Sherwood Press and Taylor Bloxham in the UK. It has 52 franchisees across the UK and Ireland covering 72 franchise areas, selling to around 6000 stores. Franchisees have exclusive rights to distribute OPC’s products within their given area. OPC also distributes to eight countries worldwide.
Cathay Investments invests in businesses carrying out a range of distribution activities, including composite materials and chemical distribution companies, logistical providers and stationery and toy suppliers. As well as OPC, it recently acquired two other companies, having secured a £24 million revolving credit facility from HSBC.