Card Factory

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Card Factory plc
Public company
Traded asLSECARD
Founded1997; 23 years ago (1997)
FoundersDean & Janet Hoyle
HeadquartersWakefield, West Yorkshire
Key people
Geoff Cooper (Chairman)
Karen Hubbard (CEO)
ProductsGreeting Cards, Calendars
Revenue£422.1 million (2018)[1]
£83.4 million (2018)[1]
£58.3 million (2018)[1]
OwnerInvesco (27%)
Artemis (12%)
Old Mutual Global Investors (10%)
Number of employees
9,936 (2018)[1]
Card Factory, Southside Wandsworth, London
Card Factory store in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Card Factory is a chain of greeting card and gift stores in the United Kingdom founded in Wakefield by Dean Hoyle and his wife Janet; the first store opened in 1997. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange.


Dean Hoyle left school with no qualifications, having a self confessed greater interest in football.[2] With his wife Janet, from 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, 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.[3]

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 traded as Card Warehouse and Cardfair), as part of a rescue package, securing around 500 of the 1,800 jobs at Celebrations.[4]

The couple put the business up for sale in January 2010[2] and on 8 April 2010, Charterhouse completed the £350 million purchase of the company which at the time operated 480 stores.[5] This enabled Dean Hoyle to later buy Huddersfield Town F.C.[2] On 14 July 2011, Card Factory purchased for an undisclosed sum.[6] In May 2014, the company floated via an Initial Public Offering on the London Stock Exchange.[3]


The company operates some 1,000 stores.[7] Macmillan Cancer Support is the company's chosen charity; Card Factory donations to the charity had totalled £1 million by 2008[8] and £3 million by 2014.[9]


The company has been successfully prosecuted for Health and Safety infringements on a number of occasions. Incidents have included poor stock management,[10] overstocking of stores,[11] damaged equipment, inadequate risk assessments and staff training.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Results for the year ended 31 January 2018" (PDF). Card Factory. Retrieved 16 March 2019.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Nicola Harrison (26 March 2010). "Dean and Janet Hoyle". Retail Week. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Wakefield card firm Card Factory's rescue package saves 500 jobs". Yorkshire Evening Post. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Card Factory's £350m Private Equity Sale Completed". Yorkshire Evening Post. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  6. ^ " (Online retailer of Personalised Gifts) is sold to Card Factory for undisclosed sum". Manchester Evening News. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
  7. ^ Brown, Jakki (21 August 2019). "Card Factory Hits The 1,000 Store Milestone". Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Charity cash on the cards from Dean - Local". Spenborough Guardian. Archived from the original on 1 February 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2008.
  9. ^ "Macmillan has been working in partnership with Card Factory since 2006, and that year saw their total reach £3 million". Macmillan Cancer Support. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Card retailer culpable for pensioner's fall". Health and Safety at Work. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2013.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Firm fined over safety breach". WalesOnline. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Health and safety breaches cost firm over £40,000". Leicester City Council. 10 December 2009. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.

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