Chorley studio is closed, but the brand is to continue
It is end of an era for Wishing Well Studios and beginning of a new chapter as the Lancashire-based studio for the traditional sentiment brand has been closed, with its creative development now being directed from Carte Blanche Greetings’ head office in Chichester.
As Gerard O’Mahoney, commercial director of Carte Blanche Greetings, of which Wishing Well has been a part of since 2011, told PGBuzz.net: “Wishing Well remains extremely important part of our portfolio and will remain very much a separate brand with its own identity.”
Paying tribute to the Wishing Well creative team and explaining the rationale behind the move, he said: “We can’t thank Nicky Harrison [Wishing Well creative director, pictured above with Gerard] and her team enough for what they have done to nurture the brand over the last six years since CBG bought the company. This decision, which has not been taken lightly, is part of our ongoing commitment to controlling costs while meeting our customers needs. It makes sense that the creative side of the business is closer to the commercial hub.”
Although all six of the Wishing Well studio team were offered new positions based in Chichester were offered to the team, these have not been taken up due to the geographical distance, so all members of the team have been made redundant.
The company is now recruiting for a new team to work specifically on the Wishing Well brand, including a “brand manager, who will be a real champion for the brand and who has a natural affinity with the sentiment and verse which has made Wishing Well so successful over the years,” says Gerard.
He is under no illusion as to the importance of getting the right team in place. “Traditional greeting cards, for which Wishing Well is best known, is probably the most misunderstood segment and one of the most difficult to get right. But as it represents the largest sector – accounting for 27% of everyday cards, there is an incentive for doing so. Our intention is to put Wishing Well back up where it belongs at the top of the traditional sentiment market.”
Gerard emphasised that CBG remains steadfast in its multi-faceted strategy. “Wishing Well is our traditional brand, Me to You is our key cute brand, Hotchpotch is gaining ground as a contemporary design brand, while in Violent Veg and Say It To My Face means we also have a presence in the humorous segment too.”