Darcy Willson-Rymer has been appointed chief executive officer of Card Factory. Darcy joins the UK’s largest specialist greeting card retail chain from Costcutter Supermarkets, where he has served as ceo for the last eight years. Prior to this Darcy was ceo of Clinton Cards from 2011 to 2012, prior to it going into administrative receivership. Before joining Clinton Cards, he held a range of roles in international branded businesses, including managing director (UK and Ireland) of Starbucks Coffee Company; and senior roles at Yum Restaurants International, including operations director of KFC Great Britain; and director of operations and franchise, Europe, KFC and Pizza Hut.
“As a long-standing admirer of Card Factory, I am thrilled to be able to lead the business through the next phase of its growth journey. Working with the team at Card Factory, my ambition is to unlock the true potential of the business by delivering its transformation strategy in the UK and internationally,” said Darcy.
Darcy’s appointment follows the departure of Karen Hubbard, who left the retailer in late June.
The retail group’s ceo role has been filled in the short-term by Paul Moody, chairman of the business, who has fronted the retail group’s unveiling of its five-year strategy which cited how retail partnerships the world over form the basis of its future expansion plans, taking it closer to its stated intention of becoming the “world’s best greeting card retailer.”
At the start of October, Card Factory sent out positive messages in its interim results (covering the six months until end of June) about how its trade had been ‘better than expected’ in the period since reopening following the first lockdown (https://www.pgbuzz.net/card-factory-reports-an-encouraging-performance-with-lfl-sales-down-6-9-over-last-four-months/) while its online sales were reported as having soared. Its partnership arrangements with Aldi and The Reject Shop (in Australia) were also reported then as having also contributed “better than expected” revenues.
Card Factory is aiming to increase its UK market share of the everyday card market to 45% (by volume) by 2024 (up 11% on its current position) and 31% by value (up from the current 20%). It has also set its sights on securing a 10% share of the everyday card market in the States.
Having previously stated that the ceiling for company-owned stores was 1,200, the retail group’s new five-year plan is to operate from around 1,100 of its own stores. More significantly though, is its goal to secure an additional 4,500 ‘distribution points’ (UK and international) through various retail partnerships. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/card-factorys-future-growth-will-largely-be-through-partnerships-with-other-retailers/)
Top: Card Factory is set to welcome former Clintons’ former boss as its head honcho.