It’s a fairly unique way of being self-employed working for/with Calendar Club. In the UK alone during the 2017/18 ‘season’, there were 279 outlets selling calendars, diaries, mugs, etc. under the CC banner.
There’s also Calendar Club set ups in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Altogether over 1,000 seasonable shops! It’s obviously a massive, extremely popular and successful specialist business. Their tag line is “The Best Selection of Calendars in the Known Universe“, and with over 3,500 titles in their warehouse I’ve no doubt this is absolutely true.
We had a ‘free’ morning on Tuesday last week, 30th January, and thought we’d see if a visit could be arranged to look around the Distribution Depot and Headquarters of the UK warehouse.
Our enquiry was met enthusiastically, and arranged over the phone prior to travelling to Cornwall. On our way back to Areandare, we easily found ‘Exe Box’, a ten minute drive from my sister’s home in Exeter …
The lovely ‘Dan’ showed us around the huge warehouse and distribution areas from where the fixtures and stock for our Lichfield store originated. For some reason it surprised us that there are a large number of staff employed all year round, as the self-employed operators and Territorial Managers with Calendar Club work ‘only’ for around a quarter of a year (albeit seven days a week for the period).
Following the tour we were really grateful to be offered an opportunity to converse with Claire, who heads up ‘Sales and Customer Experience’. And were thankfully reassured the feedback we’d given at the end of our experience, both positive and (we hope) constructively challenging, had been read, reflected upon, and actions taken into consideration for the next season.
Hopefully we’ll be invited back to manage the Lichfield outlet once again this year, and next – at least that’s the plan notwithstanding anything else the Universe may have in store for us that we’re not yet aware of …
It may seem onerous to some to even consider working seven days a week for fourteen weeks, but between Barry and I it was completely do-able. Importantly, honestly, it was also enjoyable – apart from our dice with the dreaded flu which floored us, though thankfully not at the same time!
Calendar Club will soon be actively recruiting a few new operators for the next season, starting September 2018, through to January 2019. Maybe one or two of you reading are considering investigating further? We’d definitely recommend it if you feel you have the tenacity, fortitude, commitment, organisational and communication skills necessary.