University on a mission to deliver sustainable growth for greeting cards firm

Marketing and engineering experts at Leeds Beckett University have teamed up with Wakefield-based Riverside Greetings to bring academic knowledge, experience, and insight into the business.

A team of academics will work with the company, which designs and supplies greetings cards, on a two-year Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (mKTP), which is part-funded by the Government through Innovate UK.

Dr Nick Halafihi, head of subject for marketing, public relations and journalism at Leeds Beckett, is co-leading the partnership.

He said: “Riverside Greetings design and supply cards to convenience shops including Spar, Nisa and Costcutter. They are an ambitious company who want to embrace new innovations in technology.”

Co-leader, Dr Esther Pugh, senior lecturer in business strategy and marketing, added: “Our mKTP will bring together experts from across the university – our focus will be on strategic marketing, productivity, and developing cutting-edge new technology for managing and analysing data within the company.”

A skilled graduate will be recruited to carry out the project, as a full-time member of staff within the business, and with the full support and input of the academic team at Leeds Beckett.

The academics all have extensive experience of working with small and medium-sized enterprises on knowledge exchange projects.

Andrew Glen, managing director of Riverside Greetings, said: “The mKTP will transform the greeting card category in the growing convenience sector, while creating a step change in the growth of our business and additional jobs.

“Our mission is to help convenience retailers sell more greetings cards. They will benefit from performance improvements and their shoppers will benefit from a proposition which is better tailored to their needs.”

The partnership will also bring training and development opportunities for staff at Riverside Greetings through Leeds Beckett – as well as live commercial projects for students at the university to work on with the businesses.