Card Factory acquires

The budget greetings card retailer Card Factory continues to go from strength to strength, posting a 20 per cent rise in EBITDA and announcing the acquisition of etail business for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition gives Card Factory access to a transactional website and puts it head to head with one of the market leaders in this category, Moonpig. Clinton Cards is also trying to gain a slice of the online action and recently launched a personalised cards and gifts website of its own.

In 2010 the booming 577-store Card Factory was acquired by private equity firm Charterhouse for around £370m and raked in £64 million in EBITDA in the year to January 31. 45 shops were opened in that period, 450 jobs were created – bringing the company total up to 5,200 – and revenue rose by 12 per cent to £232m. The Wakefield-based business is headed up by CEO Richard Hayes, who led the 2010 management buyout from Card Factory founder Dean Hoyle.

Based in Wythenshawe in Manchester, is also on the ascent, led by company founder John Smith who launched the business 5 years ago. The company’s sales surged by 22 per cent to £11.5m in the year to April 2011. In 2010 9 million visitors went to the website, purchasing over 800,000 items between them. The firm employs over 40 people.

Card Factory’s development director Andy Garbutt commented that the company had been considering its online strategy for quite some time and thought that: “The personalised gift area was exciting and interesting and was growing rapidly. Getting Personal had a strong corporate cultural match with us.”

He said: “We are committed to providing new jobs across the country and have created 450 new jobs this year in our shops. We are investing in high streets at a time when other people are turning their back on them.”