Ascona Retail

Top 50 Indie Ascona Retail has partnered Riverside Greetings to develop the greeting card business in each of its 62 retail sites.

According to Riverside Greetings the greeting card market is growing and is currently worth £1.4bn in the UK. It is a relatively high margin category but complex to manage so many forecourt and convenience operators are turning to vendor-managed operational models.

Andrew Glen, managing director of Riverside, explained: “We welcome the opportunity to work closely with Ascona Retail and entering into a sole supply agreement. We are passionate about growing the greeting card category in forecourt sites and convenience stores and it is great to see Ascona wanting the best category solution for their shoppers.

“The group is highly ambitious just as we are, and we are looking forward to driving the performance of the category for them. We began activating our category offering in Ascona sites in April and will have mobilised the entire estate by mid-July. We are confident that our service and investment in innovation will drive significant sales and profitability improvements for Ascona along with delighting their shoppers.”

Paul Stoddart, trading director at Ascona Retail, added: “We are pleased to be working with the team at Riverside Greetings. Having the correct mix of seasonal and everyday cards is crucial to the performance of the greeting card category. Riverside have shown us that their approach to the category adds value, and we are looking forward to developing the category for our shoppers.”

Riverside Greetings offer convenience store owners no upfront costs, stock on consignment (pay for what you sell), display equipment free on loan and new designs each month.

The company employs 28 people with 18 of the team focused on providing a direct service to retailers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.