Advantages Excellent value for money, great promotions
Disadvantages Shops always busy, some relatives hard to find
I'm slightly unaccustomed to writing reviews on shops in general, but I was thinking of something to write and this popped into my mind.I first discovered Card Factory a few years ago, after walking past it umpteen times and dismissing it as yet another card/birthday shop on the high street. One particular day I was struggling to find a good sentimental card for Mum's birthday that wasn't going to break the bank, so I thought I'd give it a try. Since that day, Card Factory has been my number one stop for all my greetings card needs.
The shops are not terribly big, and usually crowded so getting around with a buggy is always difficult. Good thing I've got my Hippychick Hipseat! (See earlier review.) However it is worth the struggle as their prices are prettymuch unbeatable. As the name suggests, Card Factory mostly sells cards. They have all the usual kinds: birthday, christening, wedding, new baby, get well, etc. and the seasonal ones like Christmas and mothers/fathers day. What sets it apart from the rest is the price. A small individual card usually costs 29p or 59p, a medium card is 59p, large 89p and extra large 99p. Those aren't the blank ones you buy in bulk for acquaintances, they are Mum, Dad, son, daughter etc. They also do the generic cards, very good quality ones in a style similar to the 'Bang On The Door' range that cost 5 for £1 or bog standard 'bunch of flowers on the front' or teddy bear cards £1 for 10. Recently these offers were made even more fantastic by a promotion (lasting a good month or so) where every card in the shop was half price, even the 10 for £1 ones. I picked up the whole year's worth of family, friend and acquaintance birthday and baby cards for about £12 with plenty of cards to spare for people I forgot.Card Factory also sell a good range of soft toys which are also reasonably priced. On my last visit they had medium sized New Baby teddy bears (pink and blue) for £2.99, which is unbeatable in my book. They also sell little trinket-type gifts like photo frames (special occasions like new baby or weddings, and also plain or funny ones like 'best friends' or 'my cat'), pens and keyrings, sentiment plaques and money boxes all at very low prices (often 99p or £1.99).
Apart from the busy shops, the only problem I find is the range of cards available for grandparents. They have lots of different cards, but they don't sell 'Grandpa' or 'Nanny' cards - they have Grandad and Grandma and Nannie, Nan, Nana, but that's not what my son calls them! However I can't give it too much of a black mark there as Nanny and Grandpa seem to be the hardest names to find in any card shop nowadays.All in all, Card Factory is my favourite card shop because they sell great quality cards for extremely reasonable prices. It is always worth checking out whether you're looking for a birthday card for a friend or a teddy for a new baby. I give it four out of five stars, dropping half a star for both the difficulty getting around the shop and the lack of choice for grandparent cards.
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