Greetings card retailer Hallmark has laid out plans for international expansion as it launches a business review under new chief executive Steve Wright.

Wright – who was promoted from managing director to chief executive on January 1 – is overseeing a review of Hallmark Cards’ retail and wholesale divisions and its card supply business, Tigerprint.

Wright expects to add to the two international trial stores in Belgium and Australia with another test store planned for the Netherlands.

He aims to have a clear expansion plan across countries including New Zealand, Japan and Australia by mid-2012. Wright said the business had not yet decided whether to operate company-owned stores or franchises.

In the UK, Hallmark wants to open more stores in primary locations through cautious expansion. It currently has 280 stores in the UK.

Wright said consumer demand for greetings cards is “reasonably strong” and “dynamic change” in the market means that the retailer wants to “cater for the entire spectrum”, offering more online, personalised and value cards.