A potential blow for the paper, card, envelope and printing industries has been announced with the news Clintons (formerly Clinton Cards) are seeking survival talks with their landlords with possibility of a CVA to save it.
Founded in 1968 by Don Lewin the High Street greetings card store known for its wrapping paper, Christmas and festive decorations and soft toys and gifts is on the brink of collapse according to weekend reports.
The BBC said: “The retailer, which has about 2,500 staff, is in restructuring talks with landlords in another sign of the High Street crisis. A spokeswoman told the BBC no decisions have yet been made. Clintons was responding to reports on Sunday that it wanted to close 66 out of 332 shops, with landlords slashing rents on most of the other stores. The restructuring would involve a controversial scheme known as a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), an insolvency process that allows companies to continue trading while pushing through closures and rent cuts.”
Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said: “If Clintons go down it would be a body blow to the paper and card industries with printers and paper manufacturers hit. We have had feedback in the last few weeks from members of our credit circle that there were issues with the card shop chain. It’s also a sign of times with a fall in traditional cards that you post with a stamp, but also the general malaise felt in the High Street with declining sales for many business models.”
In October 1994 Clintons acquired 83 shops from Hallmark and a year later another 112 from Carlton Cards with the Birthdays chain acquired in 2004. In 2012 the firm was in trouble when American Greetings bailed them out to the tune of £36m only to fall into administration themselves. It led to mass closures and the selling off of 397 shops to Lakeshore Lending leaving the current stores to fend for themselves.
The Sunday Telegraph reported on November 10, that Clintons had told landlords 90 of its stores would close as they were loss makers. However it’s possible the axe may not fall immediately as the stores now expect their busiest time of the year with Christmas on the horizon.
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