Image Source: Gwydion M. Williams
Jane Imrie

2,500 jobs could be saved with Clinton rescue deal

Greetings card retailer Clinton Cards has been sold back to its existing owners in a bid to save it from collapse.

The brand has been saved through a ‘complex’ transaction that will allow it to keep trading in the approach to Christmas.

The news follows the firm’s failed attempt to find a new buyer for the business, as well as exploring the option of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

Clinton boss Eddie Shepherd explained: “Like so many of our fellow High Street retailers, we have worked tirelessly to contend with the maelstrom of issues impacting the sector, from business rates pressures, to fragile consumer confidence and the lack of clarity around the taxation of online retail businesses.

Clinton, which has 334 stores and employs 2,500 people across the country, has struggled to compete with rivals such as supermarkets and online retailers.

Julie Palmer, an insolvency practitioner and managing partner at Begbies Traynor, commented: “The Clinton business has been in decline for some time.

“It went through an insolvency process in 2012 when it de-listed as a public company at that point in time. It had more than twice the stores that it has this time round and more than twice the employees.

“It has shrunk its portfolio, it has shrunk its cost base but it is in a declining market. There is competition. The supermarkets sell cards more cheaply. At the higher end, you have entrants to the market like Paperchase who are attracting a different sort of buyer.”

Despite recent struggles, Clinton boss Eddie remains optimistic about the brand’s future: “We are confident that this deal will kickstart a new chapter for our business.”

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