Clinton Cards goes into administration

 

The BBC's Emma Simpson says Clintons is the latest casualty of the recession

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Troubled retailer Clinton Cards has been placed in administration, after its largest supplier took steps to begin the process earlier on Wednesday.

Clinton had already asked for trading in its shares to be suspended before the administration announcement.

It said two of its banks sold £35m of loans to supplier American Greetings.

While the banks had waived certain conditions for the loans, American Greetings had pressed for repayments that Clinton Cards could not meet.

Founded in 1968, it is the UK's biggest card retailer, operating 628 Clinton shops and 139 Birthdays stores and employing more than 8,000 staff.

In March, Clinton reported a loss of £3.7m for the six months to the end of January and said the outlook for 2012 was worse than previously thought.

On Wednesday, it said like-for-like sales, which strip out the impact of sales from shops opened or closed in the past year, fell 3.5% in the past 14 weeks compared with a year earlier.

Loan enforcement

The company said Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland had sold its loan facilities to American Greetings.

It said that although it had not breached any covenants or repayment obligations, it had been given certain temporary waivers for "technical breaches" by the banks.

Clinton said it had originally believed that American Greetings would extend these waivers.

"However, having secured control of the debt, American Greetings immediately informed the board that it intended to enforce the loan against the company," the retailer said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.

"The board has concluded that because it is unable to repay the loan, it has no option but to concur with American Greetings' proposal to place the company and its subsidiaries into administration."

Clinton has been restructuring its business to try and turn around its fortunes, including closing a number of Clinton and Birthdays-branded UK stores.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 895.

    Although its a great shame for everyone who loses their job card shops like Clintons are a disgusting rip off... Good Riddance!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 894.

    Sadly, this isn't the first time that Barclays Bank have pulled the rug out from under a UK business....This happened to me with a firm I worked for which was then put into administration and bought out below it's market value. In this case, by forcing Clintons into administration over quite a small debt, they will have enabled another firm to buy up Clintons cheaply....

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 893.

    so what , must a slow news day

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 892.

    is this part of the torys doing the right thing again

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 891.

    I wouldn't dream of buying anything at Clinton Cards. They are very pricey, their cards are nothing out of the ordinary, scores of blank cards or cards with poor greetings. I can buy a nice card with a lovely message at an open market costing just 0.50p. Blimey one has to pay £2.50 for a lousy Clinton card. I am not surprised that the retailer is making losses, customers look for cheap deals.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 890.

    It would be a good idea if our Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable entered the debate over Clintons going into administration. Perhaps he could explain in detail how a UK company can be forced to do so by American Greetings. It may make sense to the Banking institutions but not to the general public. It may be also another can of worms that the Government don't want opened.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 889.

    Speaking as an employee (for now) of Clintons - just one of the hard working, everyday sales assistants, I'd just like to say thank you for all the nice comments and support we've been given here..and on a personal note, I shall miss my colleagues who have, over time, become friends..

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 888.

    I've always found the concept of Clintons a bit odd.

    Back in the 70s, good quality greetings cards were usually just an extra line at a local newsagent. The quality at old fashioned corner shops declined but there has always been solid competition from more diversified outlets like WH Smith, supermarkets, dept stores.

    Sad for the staff, but a single product (+ novelty tat) = high risk.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 887.

    Who wants to send a card now with postage being so dear? I don't shop at Clinton Cards as the cards are very expensive for what they are. The have over priced gifts and offer poor value for money. I tend to buy mine from M&S where they do a lot of cards for £1.00 - £2.00.I hope they find a sharp mind to buy them and save the jobs as it's the staff who suffer the most.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 886.

    They were bad for the economy. They offered artists 3p a card and sold them for much more - abusing their size and weight in my view.

    The competition commission doesn't really work very well, it must be said. There are too many gigantic businesses strangling the life out of any entrepreneurial activity.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 885.

    Sounds like an attempt at a takeover by the back door by American Greetings! Let's hope the administrators don't just sell Clintons to them.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 884.

    Shops compete with one another to get the trade, if they don't get it they lose money. There will be more ending up in administration simple because there are too many of the same type of shops, too many shoe shops, too many clothes shops, too many food shops, too many of all of them and not all of them have big backers/owners to keep them going so they go into administration and jobs are lost.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 883.

    Clintons - overpriced cards, bad management, bad attitude towards the staff.no staff incentive for their hardwork. I'm not suprised they gone down. Feel for the employees though.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 882.

    Another victim of recession i.e. people not having "spare" money... or perhaps a victim of competition... or a victim of the banks.... or a victim of the government... or a victim of the manufactured recession.

    Whichever way you look at the loss of another retailer... they're not the first, and they certainly won't be the last.

    Welcome to Britain, 2012!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 881.

    Every time I went to buy a card in a shop, not just Clintons, I have always left empty handed, why because I won't buy a bland blank card and the so-called comic cards are not funny and I truly am fed up opening cards which say just Best Wishes, Happy Birthday etc, 2 words and a picture is not worth the £2 you have to pay, I only buy Xmas cards these days, prefer to do my own occasion cards now.

  • Comment number 880.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 879.

    I agree that perhaps for Clintons it was all a little too late but the upshot of all of this is, I don't know how I am going to be able to afford to pay my rent over the next few months, JSA wouldn't touch my water rates never mind the rent, I have a degree but even that isn't paying my bills right now and its a good degree at that! So whilst we can all sit here & pass judgement it isn't helping.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 878.

    Its often forgotten when the BIG supermarkets shout about another 10,000 poorly paid jobs created this year etc,are the jobs these very supermarkets cost in many other areas of the high street that should be subtracted from there hiring figures,in this particular case the plentiful supplies of cards they sell with the usual advantages of larger buying power in both outlets and size of orders!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 877.

    I went into clintons last week and there was NOTHING appropriate. Ironically I found one in a local shop for 1/3 of the price!

    Am I supporting british business? not sure; but I am supporting my local community!

    For too long Clintons has been effectively coasting - relying on its brand name - much the same as Woolworths did.

    Had they been more pro-active, there wouldn't be a market for moon pig!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 876.

    All I see is yet another foreign company taking over a British brand. The banks should never have been allowed to sell overseas, or at all if they were in agreement with Clintons.
    The government baild out the banks with the promise that the banks would start lending and helping and all they have done is forclosed and stopped loaning.
    Bail out the employers next time.

 

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