The Wakefield-based Card Factory aims to become leading greeting card retailer in Australia

Karen Hubbard Picture Tony Johnson.Karen Hubbard Picture Tony Johnson.
Karen Hubbard Picture Tony Johnson. | Johnston Press Resell
The budget greetings card retailer Card Factory has secured its first international partnership as it expands its global empire.

The Wakefield-based firm has completed the roll out of 356 branded concessions across the store network of The Reject Shop in Australia.

The five-year supply agreement with The Reject Shop is Card Factory’s first international partnership and follows a successful trial in 2019.

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The Reject Shop, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, was founded in 1981 and offers a wide variety of general consumer merchandise.

Karen Hubbard, Chief Executive Officer of Card Factory, said: “We are delighted to have completed the roll out of our partnership with The Reject Shop.

“Their customers’ response to our products is testament to the strength of our quality value offer and we believe that with this partnership, we have the potential to be the leading greeting card retailer in Australia.

“This is our first international partnership and we are excited about the opportunity to apply this model in other markets.”

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Andre Reich, chief executive officer of The Reject Shop, said: “Card Factory is a fantastic partner and we are delighted with the reaction so far. Their quality value offer is highly complementary to our own, and from the way they have chosen the range and display, they clearly understand our customers.

“Since the roll out, we have seen significant volume increases in our stores, and we were delighted with the recent launch of Card Factory’s Valentine’s range, which also saw a sharp rise in volumes.”

Last September, The Card Factory confirmed it was holding talks with a number of potential overseas retail partners after delivering a “satisfactory” half year sales performance.

In the six months ended 31 July 2019, the company’s revenue increased by 5.5 per cent to £195.6m and the profit before tax was £24.3m, compared with £28.4m in the same period the year before.

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The company said it had secured a “robust” sales performance, with overall Card Factory like-for-like sales growth of 1.5 per cent.

There was also a 1.2 per cent increase in store like-for-like sales, which outperformed reported negative high street footfall, the company said.

Founded in 1997, the Wakefield-based firm sells greetings cards, gifts and balloons for special occasions. sales grew by 25 per cent over the half year which the company said was a strong performance against external and internal KPIs (key performance indicators).

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Over the half year, there were 26 net new stores opened, which the company said will drive additional revenue growth.

The company said customers were responding well to new ranges with a record Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day performances in terms of both volume and value. The Card Factory said it was focusing on customer experience and improved use of space.

In September, The Card Factory said it was well established as the clear market leader in its sector and is growing its market share.

The company said: “The underlying card market remains resilient despite continuing weaker consumer confidence.”

The Card Factory also reported a strong pipeline of new store opportunities and said it was on track to deliver around 50 net new UK and Republic of Ireland openings by the year end.