Cardzone has acquired Mooch, the five store group of award-winning gift shops owned by Rachel and Paul Roberts. From a standing start four years ago, Rachel and Paul have opened two Mooch stores in Northampton as well as a store in Olney, Towcester and Rushden Lakes. This acquisition takes the Cardzone group up to 191 stores and boosts its profile on the gifting front.
Rachel and Paul are to work with the Cardzone team until the new year to ensure a smooth integration.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Mooch brand to our group portfolio and its team of dedicated staff who have all been excellent throughout this transition period,” James Taylor, director of Cardzone told PG Buzz. “We had been aware of the growing Mooch brand for a couple of years and were delighted to start discussions back in the late summer about a potential sale. Paul and Rachel have built an excellent business in a very short space of time and we are keen to learn what makes Mooch so popular with its customers before looking at expansion across different parts of the UK. We love the brand name!” James added.
The deal was actually clinched during The Retas awards event last week (November 16), which saw Cardzone winning Best Specialist Multiple as well as the prestigious Greeting Card Retailer of the Year award. Mooch was feted in the 2019 Retas when it won the award for Non-Specialist Greeting Card Retailer of the Year.
“We will certainly always remember The Retas 2021, not just for our awards, but because it was half an hour into the event that we received the final go ahead on Mooch. Exciting times!” said Paul Taylor, managing director of Cardzone.
Paul and Rachel are now planning to spend some time fulfilling their dream of spending time by the sea. “We’re excited to be handing the baton over to Paul and James Taylor,” commented Paul. “We’ve been really impressed by them and their team and we know they’ll do an amazing job enabling Mooch to reach its full potential.”
Adding her thoughts, Rachel paid tribute to their team, suppliers and retail friends: “We’re really proud of what we started at Mooch and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our beautiful team, our suppliers, their agents and, of course, our Retail Buddies who have been there every step of the way with advice and encouraging words.”
Rachel spearheaded the Retail Buddies group of like-minded card and gift retailers following a roundtable discussion instigated by Progressive Gifts & Home magazine a few years ago during the Harrogate Gift & Home show
With the Mooch brand and concept now part of the Cardzone portfolio, the team is considering which locations would best lend themselves as a good fit with the more gifty offering.
“For now though, the focus is on a smooth integration process as well as delivering a strong Christmas performance in the five stores,” added James.
Top: The first Mooch shop, on St Giles Street, Northampton.