Card Factory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sportswift Ltd
Trading name Card Factory
Type Public company
Industry Retail
Founded 1997
Headquarters Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Key people Dean & Janet Hoyle (Founders)
Richard Hayes (CEO)
Products Greeting Cards, Calendars
Revenue £327 million (2014)
Employees 6,500
Card Factory store in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Card Factory is a chain of greeting card and gift stores in United Kingdom founded by Dean Hoyle and his wife Janet; the first store opened in 1997. In May 2014 the company floated via an Initial Public Offering on the London Stock Exchange.[1]


Dean Hoyle left school with no qualifications, having a self-confesed greater interest in football.[2] With his wife Janet, form 1993 they began buying cards wholesale, and selling them from the back of their van at car boot sales and public open air events.[2]

In 1997, they opened their first shop under within the holding company Sportswift Ltd, purposefully choosing secondary retail locations which were cheaper.[2] After opening a few stores, whilst Janet founded and headed-up the internal design and print function, whilst Dean concentrated on expanding the business, with a nominal target of 500+ retail outlets.[2] This gave the company a profit-margin advantage over rivals, including Clinton Cards,[1] allowing their advertising to claim that they have not increased prices for ten years.

The couple built a board to expand the business, including: Keith Pacey (Chairman of Maplin); Richard Hayes (Managing Director, their ex-Bank Manager); Chris Beck (Commercial director, ex-Grant Thornton); Darren Bryant (Group finance director, ex-PricewaterhouseCoopers).[2] On 28 November 2008, Card Factory purchased about 80 of the 288 stores from failed greetings card company Celebrations Group (which trades as Card Warehouse and Cardfair), as part of a rescue package, securing around 500 of the 1,800 jobs currently at Celebrations.[3]

Having put the business up for sale in January 2010,[2] on 8 April 2010 Charterhouse completed the £350 million purcahse of the company..[4] This enabled Dean Hoyle to later buy Huddersfield Town F.C.[2] On 14 July 2011, Card Factory purchased for an undisclosed sum.[5]


The company currently employs around 6,500 people,[4] mostly in front line positions in its stores. Their advertising claims they have not increased prices for ten years. Year-on-year sales rose 27% from 2008 to 2009 resulting in a £29.4 million pre-tax profit and a turnover of nearly £168 million.[6]

Macmillan Cancer Support is the company's chosen charity; Card Factory donations to the charity had totalled £1 million by 2008[7] and £2.8 million by 2014.[8]


The company has been successfully prosecuted for Health and Safety infringements on a number of occasions. Incidents have included poor stock management,[9] overstocking of stores,[10] damaged equipment, inadequate risk assessments and staff training.[11]


  1. ^ a b Nick Bubb (19 May 2014). "Nick Bubb's verdict: Are the Card Factory and Game IPOs growth stories?". Retail Week. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Nicola Harrison (26 March 2010). "Dean and Janet Hoyle". Retail Week. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Wakefield card firm Card Factory's rescue package saves 500 jobs". Yorkshire Evening Post. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Card Factory's £350m Private Equite Sale Completed". Yorkshire Evening Post. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010. 
  5. ^ " (Online retailer of Personalised Gifts) is sold to Card Factory for undisclosed sum". Manchester Evening News. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Soult's Retail View » Blog Archive » Card Factory lined up for Newcastle’s Northumberland Street:". Graham Soult. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Charity cash on the cards from Dean - Local - SpenboroughGuardian Archived 1 February 2011 at WebCite
  8. ^ "About Us". Card Factory website. Retrieved 19 August 2014. [better source needed]
  9. ^ "Card retailer culpable for pensioner's fall". Health and Safety at Work. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Firm fined over safety breach". WalesOnline. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Health and safety breaches cost firm over £40,000". Leicester City Council. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 

External links[edit]