“It’s very lonely,” Karen Hubbard, ceo of Card Factory confessed to The Times’ retail editor Ashley Armstrong journalist who had picked up on the little known fact that the head honcho of the UK’s largest specialist card retailer is in fact the sole female chief executive of any large, listed retail business in the FTSE 250. “There is certainly not a lack of talent . . . The biggest issue facing women is confidence,” Karen told the newspaper when she was presenting the retailer’s recent interim results earlier this week. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/card-factory-to-supply-400-aldi-stores-with-cards-matalan-trial-extended-to-15-stores/).
As Karen told PG Buzz: “It is not just about having more women in the boardroom, it’s having more women talking about business. Often the articles are more skewed towards ‘how did you get here?’ rather than just discussing general business issues.”
She is somewhat surprised that there are not more females heading up large retail businesses, especially given that an estimated 80% of purchasing decisions are made by women, and even more on the card front. Not just that, but just under 60% of the near-three million retail workforce is female.
Karen concurs which much of what Mary Portas has to say in her recent book, Work Like A Woman, in which the ‘Queen of Shops’ champions the power of women in business lies in their values – their softer attitude, their kindness and their sensitivity. As Mary said when she spoke at the recent Autumn Fair “The businesses that adopt this stance will be the ones that succeed in the future. Millennials won’t buy from companies that don’t share their values. It’s the culture now.” (https://www.pgbuzz.net/mary-portas-punched-it-out-at-autumn-fair/)
Karen describes Portas’ new tome as “a sensible book” and says that not only has she read it thoroughly, but bought several copies of it to give to her Card Factory colleagues of both sexes.
Showing her mettle in not skirting away from thorny questions, when PG Buzz put it to her that surely Card Factory would be a likely suitor for Clintons, which is now officially up for sale (https://www.pgbuzz.net/clintons-is-put-up-for-sale/) she confirmed that “we have not had a look at the business as yet.”
Sharing her view of the middle market multiple, Karen said: “We love Clintons. They highlight just what great value Card Factory offers!”
Top: Karen Hubbard, ceo of Card Factory.