Cardzone is on course to be trading from 185 stores by the mid-year point, with plans to open one or two a week from now until the end of June.
“We are going to be pretty busy!” admits James Taylor, trading director of Cardzone.
“But there are opportunities out there and we still feel buoyant about the growth potential in our sector, as demonstrated by the encouraging customer footfall in local high streets and outlet centres since the reopening this week,” James added.
Continuing the strategy it has adopted in the last few years, the specialist multiple’s expansion is to come from both taking over existing greeting card businesses as well as opening brand new shops. Added to this is the joint venture partnership with Postmark that was announced a few days ago. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/postmark-forges-a-joint-venture-partnership-with-cardzone/)
This week alone saw Cardzone re-open with seven additional stores – four being acquisitions of existing independent card and gift shops, as well as three brand new shops.
Strengthening its presence in the South West, Cardzone has taken over the two Romantica stores in Bristol from owner Nik Gornall as well as Carolyn Bieda’s Cards, Gifts & Balloons stores in Shaftsbury and Blandford Forum.
“Both Carolyn and Nik were a pleasure to deal with and we are very happy that their former staff are continuing as part of our team,” said James.
While these new additions will continue to trade under their existing names, a brand new Cardzone shop opened its doors in the south coast town of Seaford on Monday, in a former Clintons’ shop while the Lancashire coast town of Lytham saw the christening of a new Paper Kisses shop (Cardzone’s more upmarket concept) in stunning former bank building.
Also opening for the first time on Monday was a brand new Hallmark outlet store in the celebrated Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet complex. This latest addition sees Cardzone now trading from 23 ‘outlet’ shops under the Hallmark banner.
“I found the re-opening of our stores this week very emotional – after such a long and difficult lockdown,” Paul Taylor, managing director of Cardzone told PG Buzz. “We are just so grateful to be trading again. The early signs are good, especially in the ‘local’ stores, but it will take a bit of time for the footfall to really return in city centres and shopping malls.”