Q&A: Does Archies Franchise in the UK?

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archies franchise

If you’re contemplating entering the gift store industry, this is the article for you. We find out whether Archies franchises in the UK.

Archies is a gift store that sells cards for every occasion, as well as gift items for men, women and children. Its beautiful yet affordable cards and gifts are sold in more than six countries and the company has become a super-brand in its home country, India, even selling internationally known brands such as Keel Soft Toys and Garfield merchandise. Archies estimates that its stores are visited by around 30 million people every single year and the gift industry giant has a market share of around 50 percent in India. But can you start an Archies franchise unit in the UK?

History of Archies

Archies was founded in 1979 by Anil Moolchandani and began life selling posters, leather items and songbooks. The following year, Archies diversified into selling greeting cards and it quickly established itself as the go-to greeting card and gift retailer in India. In 2000, Archies Online was set up to allow people to pick up gifts, greeting cards and party accessories from the comfort of their own homes.

It began franchising in 1989 as a way to help the business grow quickly and has now amassed more than 2,500 locations (with around 250 franchisees), who operate in more than 100 cities across six countries.

Does Archies franchise in the UK?

No, unfortunately not. Currently, it doesn’t seem as though Archies is looking for UK franchisees to join the business and it does not have any locations here. However, if you think you could be the master franchisee that brings the brand to our shores, there may be an opportunity within the company.

How to get involved with Archies

If you’re prepared to relocate overseas, you might be interested to know that Archies does franchise outside the UK and has welcomed many franchisees across the globe. The exact figure isn’t clear, but it’s estimated that around 250 franchisees have joined the business since 1989, making Archies’ franchise network one of the largest in its sector.

The gift retailer franchises in India and is a hugely popular brand all across the country, making it an attractive prospect for anyone located there.

  • Becoming an Archies franchisee: You’ll need to locate a suitable retail premises that has between 500 to 1,000 square feet of shop floor area. It’s also good to have some basic knowledge of store management. Although this isn’t a dealbreaker to Archies, it’s a preferable skill to have if you’re looking to become a franchisee.

The gift store market in the UK

Research suggests that the global gift retail industry is set to make $77 billion by 2022 (ResearchandMarkets.com). One area of significant growth is the online greeting card retail industry in the UK. It’s thought that there are over 270 businesses in operation and the market is valued at £133 million (IBISWorld). More research from the Greeting Card Association tells us that the UK spent £1.7 billion on greeting cards in 2017.

These statistics show that the British public is clearly happy to spend big on gifts and cards for our nearest and dearest, so why not consider starting a card store franchise unit?

Similar franchise opportunities

Card Group

Card Group was founded in 1997 under its “We are different” strapline and sells cards, gift packaging and party decorations and accessories. These products are sold in a range of stores, including supermarkets, convenience stores, bookstores and toy stores.

Franchisees who opt to join the card store franchise can benefit from the company’s 21 years of franchising experience. In fact, Card Group has already appointed several master franchisees to run stores in 45 countries worldwide.

  • Becoming a Card Group franchisee: Investors should be passionate about building on the brand and have ample managerial and sales experience. Good communication skills will also be important to the success of a master franchise.
  • How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum investment of £40,000 and a total investment of £60,000.
  • What you get for your investment: After completing the initial training in Sweden, you will receive ongoing support in your territory.

The Original Poster Company

Producing greeting cards, gift wrap, bags and eye-catching displays, The Original Poster Company (OPC) is one the leading franchises in the greeting cards market. Since it was set up in 1991, it has welcomed many successful franchisees and now has 70 enjoying the returns it can provide.

Through its franchise network, OPC sells its high-quality products to independent retailers and national groups around the world using its tried and tested sale or return method. Recently, OPC celebrated a huge win that will see it become the sole supplier to more than 100 new outlets, showing that the business is a popular and profitable franchise to join.

  • Becoming an Original Poster Company franchisee: Franchisees with OPC will enjoy a brilliant work-life balance, as the business model doesn’t require hours stuck in an office for it to be a success. OPC isn’t looking for specific experience or backgrounds from its franchisees, as it simply wants to welcome passionate entrepreneurs who are looking to start their franchising journey.
  • How much you need to invest: You need to make a minimum investment of £15,000 to be accepted onto the franchise programme.
  • What you get for your investment: Each new recruit will receive a full suite of training and will be supported by the franchise’s UK-based head office team whenever they need extra guidance.

Start a successful card franchise unit today

While it isn’t currently possible to start an Archies franchise unit in the UK, you might decide to get in touch with the franchise team anyway and suggest bringing the brand this side of the pond. If you’re looking for a slightly less ambitious route to business ownership or are a first-time franchisee, you might want to browse our greeting card franchises.

>> Read more articles on the Greeting Card sector

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