Card retailer group The Card Factory is to float on the London Stock Exchange as its range of cards proved a hit with British shoppers.
It aims to raise £90m in an initial public offering.
The business operates from over 700 stores across the UK and wants to open a further 500 stores across the UK and Ireland. It also has a transactional website and personalised cards and gifts site gettingpersonal.co.uk which it bought in 2011. It typically sells its cards for about £1 although some sell for just 29p.
The retailer also stocks complimentary items such as gift wrappings, toys, ceramics, banners and glasswear.
“Since opening our first store in 1997, we have firmly established Card Factory as the UK’s leading specialist retailer in the greeting cards market,” said Richard Hayes, Card Factory CEO. “The scale, resilience and continued growth of this market reflect the fact that the giving of physical cards is and will remain ingrained in UK culture.”
He said its store roll-out strategy was well proven, having opened an average of 50 shops per year over the last decade.
The Card Factory follows discounter Poundland into the IPO market that successfully floated in March. Fast-growing B&M is eyeing a £1bn float, while newsagent McColl’s listed in January. Boohoo.com and Ao.com have also floated this year.
Revenue at The Card Factory rose 9 per cent year-on-year to £326.9m in the year to 31 January 2014.
According to consultancy firm OC&C, the UK greeting card market was estimated to be worth approximately £1.4bn in 2012.