Abacus Cards is one of the leading greeting card publishers in the UK, supplying retailers direct throughout the UK as well as exporting around the world through a network of overseas distributors. Our studio & head office is based in Newmarket, Suffolk but we have a team of employed territory sales managers and agents located nationwide.
How did you start out?
The company was started in 1991 by Jeff Fothergill and Brian Carey, owners of the respected seed company Mr Fothergill Seeds. In 2008, Abacus purchased the art-led greeting card publisher Clare Maddicott Publications owners Richard & Clare Maddicott.
Where do you sell your products?
Via our nationwide sales team we sell to a variety of retail outlets, from card and gift shops through to garden centres. We also sell to registered trade customers via our websites www.abacuscards.co.uk and www.maddicott.com. Our products can also be found in high street multiples and a few notable supermarkets.
What do you consider to be the main challenges facing small business at the moment?
In retail, consumers have become accustomed to an ever changing product offering; which means retailers and their suppliers have to keep tight reins on their stock holding. Ordering in smaller quantities means unit costs are often higher, so purchasing decisions are more critical than ever. Getting the right balance between being innovative and yet keeping an eye on costs is a big challenge for both retailers and suppliers in this ever changing retail environment.
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
The quality of our product and service.
How important is social media in promoting your business?
Not so much in a direct selling way but we see it as another communication channel with our customers, their customers, and our industry community. A platform on which to share news and celebrate all that’s good about our industry. We currently don’t use social media to advertise promotions or run competitions but that’s not to say we won’t do so in the future.
What has been your most successful promotion/marketing idea?
Can’t tell you that, all our competitors will follow suit!
What are your plans for the future?
We are redeveloping our website, so that Abacus & Maddicott trade customers will be able to place orders for both brands at one common checkout. There will also be lots of improved search functions and features as well as the site being phone and tablet friendly.
Product wise we have lots of exciting plans for new product next year, as well as extensions to our popular ranges. We are committed to continuing to support our independent customers in the implementation and assistance with stock control and planning.
Quick fire questions:
Favourite song: I’m a believer (The Monkees)
Favourite film: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Favourite animal: Giraffe