Independent Thinking: Know Your Best Selling Card Designs

House of Cards’ co-owner Miles Robinson has been centre stage twice recently. At The Retas awards a few weeks ago, Miles and his business partner of the Home Counties retail group, Nigel Williamson were presented with the trophy for Best Small Multiple Greeting Card Retailer award. Meanwhile, on the other occasion it was Miles who was doing the presenting – of crucial retailing facts that are the cornerstones of the award winning retailing duo’s business.

Miles Robinson in full flow at the Cherry Orchard sales meeting.
Miles Robinson in full flow at the Cherry Orchard sales meeting.

Miles was invited by Jackie Collins, owner of Cherry Orchard Publishing to speak at the publisher’s annual sales conference, to share some of his key business insights, including the importance of knowing what your best selling designs are, and ensuring you are never out of stock of them.

“Our top 25 best selling card designs put £36,000 in our tills in the last year,” Miles recounted to PG Buzz. “We sold over 15,000 cards of just these top 25 designs,” Miles quantified. “When you have a winner it really does show and you need to ensure that you are always in stock of them.”

House of Cards’ partners Miles Robinson (second left) and Nigel Williamson (second right) receiving their Retas award from Michael McGunnigle, national accounts manager of GBCC, sponsor of the Best Small Retailer of Greeting Cards award and host of the event, Tania Edwards.
House of Cards’ partners Miles Robinson (second left) and Nigel Williamson (second right) receiving their Retas award from Michael McGunnigle, national accounts manager of GBCC, sponsor of the Best Small Retailer of Greeting Cards award and host of the event, Tania Edwards.

Miles revealed that, despite stocking a wide number of card publishers in its stores, the top 25 designs hail from “just a dozen different publishers.”

‘Top of the tree’ sales wise within House of Cards’ ‘Top 25’ for the last year are Redback and Lucilla Lavender.

Commenting Jackie Collins said: “We all found Miles’ speech incredibly insightful. We, as publishers and sales people are conditioned to continually producing new product on what feels like a constant treadmill…interesting to hear the lifespan of a best selling design in Miles’ business can be years, which makes me question as to how many of us are being busy fools?!”

Cherry Orchard, md and owner, Jackie Collins was all ears at what Miles had to say.
Cherry Orchard, md and owner, Jackie Collins was all ears at what Miles had to say.

Jackie said how she found it so useful to see business through Miles’ eyes.

“Miles obviously lives and breathes his business and of course loves the industry but as a business person, all he needs to know is the turnover of each and every one of his pockets and like he says, he doesn’t change them for change’s sake – if a design continues to perform, then leave it alone!”

Jackie pointed out that House of Cards’ sales data challenges “the theory of being a retailer in a market town and needing ‘new new new’ because you have regular customers has just been thrown out of the window.”

House of Cards team and guests at the opening of the retailer’s new look Wallingford store.
House of Cards team and guests at the opening of the retailer’s new look Wallingford store.
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