Hallmark Gold Crown

Business Opportunities

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  • Adding a Department to My Store

    • Do I pick the location of my new store or does Hallmark pick the location?

      Our marketing and real estate experts use technology to analyze demographics, supply, demand, traffic patterns, new developments, etc.  They are also in contact with developers, city planners and highway commissions across the country.  Every new location must meet with Hallmark’s approval before a new Hallmark store can be opened in the location.

    • Does Hallmark grant exclusive territories to its retailers?

      No, there are no exclusive territories.  Hallmark evaluates each location and each retailer to put the best retailer in the best location to maximize sales for both the retailer and Hallmark.

    • Can I purchase Hallmark products for my store?

      Hallmark product lines are available only to approved Hallmark retailers.  This protects consumer perceptions of Hallmark products and ensures that Hallmark is meeting consumer expectations.

      To learn more about carrying Hallmark products in your existing store, visit our Add A Department section.

  • Diversity Programs

    • Does Hallmark have a diversity program for minorities or women?

      No, Hallmark evaluates each individual on their own merits and qualifications, and we strive to find the best candidates to develop into Hallmark Gold Crown retailers.

  • Financial Information

    • What is the average start-up cost of a new store?

      The estimated cost ranges from about $250,000 to $500,000. Check the Ownership Requirements for additional information.

    • How much cash or liquid assets are initially required to open a new store?

      Hallmark requires retailer candidates to have a least one-third (approximately $117,000 to $220,000) of the start-up cost available in unencumbered funds (cash, savings, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, or money market funds).  Retailer candidates may be asked to liquidate stocks, bonds or other funds in order to meet the liquid asset requirement.  No more than two-thirds of the total investment can be financed.

    • Does Hallmark provide financing to purchase an existing store or for new stores?

      No, Hallmark does not provide financing.

    • Does Hallmark allow business partners to own a store together or can only individuals own a store?

      Most Hallmark stores are owned by individuals who personally own and operate their store and are involved in the day-to-day operations of the store.  However, Hallmark will allow business partners to own a store if they are involved in the day-to-day operations of the store.  In these situations, the combined financial and business qualifications of the partners are considered in the review process for store ownership.  Hallmark does not allow ownership of stores by investors.

    • Does Hallmark provide any kind of breakeven analysis for new locations? If so, what does it include?

      Yes, Hallmark, with your input, will complete a detailed breakeven analysis on each new location.  This analysis will provide you with estimates for budgeting purposes and will address a number of key financial items including initial investments (fixtures, product, equipment, etc.), advertising costs, payroll expenditures, insurance and may other factors involved in the operation of a Hallmark Gold Crown store.  These estimated costs should be compared to your projected retail sales and will provide a good picture from which to make a decision.

      Note:  Actual costs may differ depending on final lease term negotiations, construction contracts, capitalization plans and other considerations.

    • Are there franchise fees associated with owning a Hallmark store?

      No, Hallmark card shops are independently owned and operated and there are no royalty or franchise fees required.  Stores that use “Hallmark” in their name or Hallmark Gold Crown exterior signing must sign a Gold Crown Sublicense Agreement with Hallmark, but there are no fees required.

    • What do I need to know before I start negotiating a lease for my location?

      Hallmark has real estate professionals who have extensive experience in negotiating leases.  These real estate professionals will negotiate your lease for you to insure you get the best possible lease terms.  This is just one of the many services Hallmark provides to its retailer at no charge.

  • Franchise Information

    • Are Hallmark stores franchised?

      No, Hallmark card shops are independently owned and operated.

    • Are there franchise fees associated with owning a Hallmark store?

      No, Hallmark card shops are independently owned and operated and there are no royalty or franchise fees required.  Stores that use “Hallmark” in their name or Hallmark Gold Crown exterior signing must sign a Gold Crown Sublicense Agreement with Hallmark, but there are no fees required.

  • Owning a Hallmark Gold Crown Store

    • What is the typical advertising budget for a store?

      Hallmark corporately supports its network of stores with National advertising that benefits all stores.  In addition Hallmark recommends that individual stores build on the national advertising by using local advertising.  Hallmark recommends each store spend approximately 2% of sales for local advertising.

    • How do I apply to become a Hallmark retailer?

      Review the information in our Own a Store section and make sure you are comfortable with the requirements to become a Hallmark retailer.  Then, complete the Retailer Candidate Questionnaire and Personal Financial Statement and submit them as indicated on the site.

      Receipt of your applications will be acknowledged by Mary Daniels and the review process will start.  The approval process will normally take four to six months to complete.

    • What if I want to purchase an existing store?

      If you want to purchase an existing store, you will need to submit the Retailer Candidate Questionnaire and the Personal Financial Statement to start the process of being approved as a Hallmark retailer.

      Whether purchasing an existing store or opening a new store, the application process and the minimum financial qualifications are the same ($120,000 in unencumbered liquid assets and a net worth of $500,000).  If approved, you will need to sign account and license agreements with Hallmark before Hallmark products will be shipped to you.

    • What is the average start-up cost of a new store?

      The estimated cost ranges from about $250,000 to $500,000. Check the Ownership Requirements for additional information.

    • How much cash or liquid assets are initially required to open a new store?

      Hallmark requires retailer candidates to have a least one-third (approximately $117,000 to $220,000) of the start-up cost available in unencumbered funds (cash, savings, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, or money market funds).  Retailer candidates may be asked to liquidate stocks, bonds or other funds in order to meet the liquid asset requirement.  No more than two-thirds of the total investment can be financed.

    • Does Hallmark provide financing to purchase an existing store or for new stores?

      No, Hallmark does not provide financing.

    • Does Hallmark provide any kind of breakeven analysis for new locations? If so, what does it include?

      Yes, Hallmark, with your input, will complete a detailed breakeven analysis on each new location.  This analysis will provide you with estimates for budgeting purposes and will address a number of key financial items including initial investments (fixtures, product, equipment, etc.), advertising costs, payroll expenditures, insurance and may other factors involved in the operation of a Hallmark Gold Crown store.  These estimated costs should be compared to your projected retail sales and will provide a good picture from which to make a decision.

      Note:  Actual costs may differ depending on final lease term negotiations, construction contracts, capitalization plans and other considerations.

    • Do I pick the location of my new store or does Hallmark pick the location?

      Our marketing and real estate experts use technology to analyze demographics, supply, demand, traffic patterns, new developments, etc.  They are also in contact with developers, city planners and highway commissions across the country.  Every new location must meet with Hallmark’s approval before a new Hallmark store can be opened in the location.

    • Can I acquire more than one store?

      Hallmark normally will allow a new candidate to acquire only one store.  However, some individuals may have the financial capacity and retail experience to operate more than one location.  Candidates who have successfully operated multiple businesses in the past may qualify to acquire more than one location.

    • What do I need to know before I start negotiating a lease for my location?

      Hallmark has real estate professionals who have extensive experience in negotiating leases.  These real estate professionals will negotiate your lease for you to insure you get the best possible lease terms.  This is just one of the many services Hallmark provides to its retailer at no charge.