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Card Factory CEO defends price increases with ‘more sophisticated’ value


Card Factory
Darcy Willson-Rymer.
// Card Factory boss Darcy Willson-Rymer tells Retail Gazette that price increases come with “more sentimental” value
// The retailer’s exit price point of £2.49 has increased to £2.99 but Willson-Rymer said it represents “good value for money”

Card Factory has defended its price increases as the retailer shifts its focus to selling cards at “the right value for money”.

The greeting card retailer‘s chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer told Retail Gazette that pricing was an “underutilised lever” before he joined last year.

While Card Factory continues to sell 29p cards – its entry price point from 25 years ago – its exit price point of £2.49 has increased to £2.99.

“We have more 29p cards than any of our competitors, but it’s about having the right cards offering the right value for money across the range,” Willson-Rymer said.

“We have to look at how we can maintain the architecture of 29p, 49p, 79p, 99p, all the way out to our exit price at £2.99.”

He explained that some of its “refreshed” cards such as the wedding range have seen prices increase from £2.49 to £2.99, but it is “not the same card”.

“We’ve redesigned the card, it’s got more embellishment, a bit more foil, more words, and more sentiment to it. We’ve added value to the card from the consumer’s perspective,” Willson-Rymer said.

“It represents really good value for money. We’re being really smart about it and we’re focused on that value for money aspect of the card, but also maintaining the right pricing architecture, we’re just doing this in a more sophisticated way.”

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With the retailer reporting a “strong performance” in its half-year results, the business defended its price increases as customers continue to shop at Card Factory.

Celebrations like weddings and christenings are what Willson-Rymer calls “life’s moments” and sales are “significantly ahead” of last year as customers return to the high street.

Card Factory remains confident in its omnichannel offering and is “very well prepared” to help the business steer the Christmas season.

“We have three platforms CardFactory.co.uk and that re-platforming enables us to expand our gifting offer,” Willson-Rymer said.

“We now have the platform to be able to sell any products that we would want to on that platform, and to be able to interface with whoever we need to.”

Card Factory is currently preparing to launch click-and-collect trials in stores pre-Christmas.

Willson-Rymer said that while his “crystal ball” isn’t very clear, he remains excited about Card Factory’s new Christmas range.

The retailer said it has made all of the right investments in supply chain by bringing in stock early and changing how it ships gifts from China.

“It’s going to be a good Christmas, we’re well set up to take advantage of it. Now we wait and see what customers are going to do.”


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