As Card Factory posts robust sales in the full year ending January 2024, Retail Week speaks to chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer on its strategy for success and future plans.

Darcy Willson-Rymer-4

Darcy Willson-Rymer is on track with Card Factory’s medium-term ambitions of £650m sales

The specialist cards retailer’s full-year sales increased 10.3% to £510.9m, despite a difficult trading environment in which customers cut back on discretionary spending.

Willson-Rymer says Card Factory’s “relentless focus on value for money” has helped drive growth for the retailer in tough times. 

Speaking to Retail Week, Willson-Rymer said: “What consumers are telling us is two things. One is that the cost of living is still real. And, while it is improving this year, they still have to be really careful about how they spend their money.

“But they’re also saying that they wanted to continue to celebrate, and therefore our quality and value offer, as well as some of the new products that we’ve launched, that’s really resonating with customers. 

“We have this relentless focus on value and value for money. If you pick up a card for 99p in Card Factory, that card is going to be £2 in another retailer. So it’s about continuing to bring newness to the customer but always focusing on quality and value.”

Card Factory is also making progress in the international markets.

He said: “We’re making really good progress against the other strategy areas. So our launch with our franchise partner in the Middle East, our acquisition of SA Greetings in South Africa [last year], as well as the investment in online, and things like delivering on our omnichannel ambition with our first launch of click and collect.”

As the retailer expects to deliver top-line growth in 2025, Willson-Rymer remains confident in Card Factory’s ‘Opening our New Future Strategy’, which has delivered good results for the retailer so far.

Card Factory expects to deliver its medium-term ambitions of £650m in sales, with a 14% profit before tax margin and 90 new stores by the end of 2027.