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

    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

    Comment number 273.

    My sister-in-law had an on-line photo-card sent to her and it was awful - her picture is unrecognisable and the quality of the printed card is awful too.
    I will always buy my cards from a shop and vow not to use websites.
    We must support all our highstreet shops as much as possible !

  • rate this

    Comment number 269.

    I given 18 years of employed service to the business & this news gives my family & I great concern for our personal finacial obligiations. Clinton has historically been a great company to work for & I believe that the quality of product we provide is second to none! I hope that we can be given time to pull thigs around, with our new director in place & our loyal customers support it can be done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 268.

    Just a great shame, another well-known high street shop. I hope someone buys them and they survive. The last thing we want is another few thousand people losing their jobs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 132.

    I hope they survive, but its up to the public to help them out, worst thing we need right now is another empty shop on our High streets


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