Card Factory

Card Factory plc
Public company
Industry Retail
Founded 1997
Founders Dean & Janet Hoyle
Headquarters Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Key people
Geoff Cooper(Chairman)
Richard Hayes (CEO)
Products Greeting Cards, Calendars
Revenue £353.3 million (2015)[1]
£79.4 million (2015)[1]
£33.2 million (2015)[1]
Owner Invesco (27%)
Artemis (12%)
Old Mutual Global Investors (10%)
Number of employees
6,500 (2014)
Card Factory, Southside Wandsworth, London
Card Factory store in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Card Factory shop in Wetherby, West Yorkshire

Card Factory is a chain of greeting card and gift stores in United Kingdom founded by Dean Hoyle and his wife Janet; the first store opened in 1997. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


Dean Hoyle left school with no qualifications, having a self-confessed greater interest in football.[2] With his wife Janet, from 1993 they began buying cards wholesale, and selling them from the back of their van at car boot sales and public open-air events.[2]

In 1997, they opened their first shop under within the holding company Sportswift Ltd, purposefully choosing secondary retail locations which were cheaper.[2] After opening a few stores, whilst Janet founded and headed-up the internal design and print function, Dean concentrated on expanding the business, with a nominal target of 500 retail outlets.[2] This gave the company a profit-margin advantage over rivals, including Clinton Cards,[3] allowing their advertising to claim that they have not increased prices for ten years.

The couple built a board to expand the business, including: Keith Pacey (Chairman of Maplin); Richard Hayes (Managing Director, their ex-Bank Manager); Chris Beck (Commercial director, ex-Grant Thornton); Darren Bryant (Group finance director, ex-PricewaterhouseCoopers).[2] On 28 November 2008, Card Factory purchased about 80 of the 288 stores from failed greetings card company Celebrations Group (which traded as Card Warehouse and Cardfair), as part of a rescue package, securing around 500 of the 1,800 jobs at Celebrations.[4]

The couple put the business up for sale in January 2010[2] and on 8 April 2010 Charterhouse completed the £350 million purchase of the company.[5] This enabled Dean Hoyle to later buy Huddersfield Town F.C.[2] On 14 July 2011, Card Factory purchased for an undisclosed sum.[6]

In May 2014 the company floated via an Initial Public Offering on the London Stock Exchange.[3]


The company currently employs around 6,500 people,[5] mostly in front line positions in its stores. Their advertising claims they have not increased prices for ten years.

Macmillan Cancer Support is the company's chosen charity; Card Factory donations to the charity had totalled £1 million by 2008[7] and £3 million by 2014.[8]


The company has been successfully prosecuted for Health and Safety infringements on a number of occasions. Incidents have included poor stock management,[9] overstocking of stores,[10] damaged equipment, inadequate risk assessments and staff training.[11]


  1. 1 2 3 "Preliminary Results for the year ended 31 January 2015". Card Factory. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Nicola Harrison (26 March 2010). "Dean and Janet Hoyle". Retail Week. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  3. 1 2 Nick Bubb (19 May 2014). "Nick Bubb's verdict: Are the Card Factory and Game IPOs growth stories?". Retail Week. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  4. "Wakefield card firm Card Factory's rescue package saves 500 jobs". Yorkshire Evening Post. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  5. 1 2 "Card Factory's £350m Private Equite Sale Completed". Yorkshire Evening Post. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  6. " (Online retailer of Personalised Gifts) is sold to Card Factory for undisclosed sum". Manchester Evening News. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
  7. Charity cash on the cards from Dean - Local - SpenboroughGuardian Archived 1 February 2011 at WebCite
  8. "Macmillan has been working in partnership with Card Factory since 2006 and this year saw their total reach £3 million.". Macmillan Cancer Support. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  9. "Card retailer culpable for pensioner's fall". Health and Safety at Work. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  10. "Firm fined over safety breach". WalesOnline. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  11. "Health and safety breaches cost firm over £40,000". Leicester City Council. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
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