Greeting card multiple Cardzone has forged a working alliance with indie retailer, David Robertson, md of JP Pozzi, as part of an ambitious growth strategy being pursued by the Midlands-based retail group, run by Paul Taylor and his son James.
“I want to double our business over the next three years and bringing high calibre people into the team will help us to achieve that,” Paul Taylor, founder and managing director of Cardzone told PG Buzz. Keith Pacey, former chairman of Card Factory is now a non-executive director of Cardzone while Paul’s son James has recently joined the board as trading director.
The new arrangement sees David take on a newly created role of business development director of Cardzone, which trades from 111 shops under the Cardzone, Card Centre, Home & Fragrance brands, as well as the Hallmark factory outlet stores that it also owns.
In addition to continuing to run his JP Pozzi/Bijou retail business, independent retailer David is now dedicating up to two days a week working with Cardzone.
David has been tasked with expanding Cardzone’s presence in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well further developing the greeting card and gift selection stocked by the multiple.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for me. I have known Paul Taylor for many years and witnessed how he has grown the Cardzone business. I truly believe that Paul Taylor will be the second biggest player in our industry and I want to help him achieve that,” said David, who will also be continuing as a PG columnist.
Cardzone currently only has two stores in Scotland (Hallmark factory outlets in Gretna and Livingston) but David is aiming to help grow this to 20 stores by the end of the year. Evelyn Morrisson, formerly of Xpressions 4 U and Hallmark comes on board on March 1 as territory manager for Scotland.
Northern Ireland has also been cited as a target for expansion. It currently only trades from three stores in the country.
Paul believes that Cardzone’s expansion could be welcome news for those independents looking to sell their shops. “Good independents are and have been the lifeblood of the card world, but we understand that many are now looking for a way out due to the rising costs and increasingly tough trading times.” As Paul elaborates, he says that if it is the right fit (a basic qualifier being that a store’s annual sales should be £200K or above) an indie could sell their shop to Cardzone as a going concern to “a good price will be paid and existing staff can retain their jobs.