Card retailer Scribbler is forging ahead with expansion plans that will extend its reach across the UK, despite the gloom in the greetings card sector.
The growth plan comes after the sector’s most dominant brand Clinton Cards placed subsidiary company Birthdays into administration in May. In October last year Celebrations, one of the sector’s largest retailers, also fell into administration.
Scribbler founder and owner John Proctor said: “We’re expanding to take advantage of current market conditions, which are enabling us to expand with a lower capital cost than would have been the case a year ago.”
The retailer is based exclusively in London and the Southeast, where it has 16 stores, but now wants to add multiple sites around England and Scotland.
Proctor said that he believes there is capacity for around 50 stores in the UK. Scribbler will add stores to its London portfolio as it expands nationwide.
The retailer has appointed property agency Michael Peddar & Co on a solely retained basis to manage its store expansion programme.
Michael Peddar & Co director Peter Henson, who is overseeing the Scribbler expansion, said that the rate of signings would depend on the availability of suitable deals, but that there could be rapid growth.
The retailer is thought to be planning to add another three stores to its portfolio this year, all of which would be outside London, and wants to add around six a year for the foreseeable future.
Its latest store opening was in London, near Victoria Station. Within the capital it also operates units at Canary Wharf, Westfield London, Kensington, Chelsea, Soho, Covent Garden and Liverpool Street station, as well as shops in Oxford, Cambridge and Bournemouth.