Administrators for Clinton Cards say it’s likely that a number of stores will need to close, putting jobs at risk

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MORE jobs could be at risk in Rugby as high street chain Clinton Cards goes into administration.

Clinton Cards announced it had appointed administrators on Wednesday last week - leaving jobs under threat at the store in Rugby’s Clock Towers Shopping Centre.

Staff at the store have not yet been told what will happen to their jobs or whether the shop will continue to trade.

At the moment more than 750 stores across the UK, including Birthdays, have remained open.

Despite the group being the UK’s largest specialist retailer of greetings cards, and employing more than 8,000 members of staff, it said that it has experienced cash flow problems due to extremely challenging trading conditions.

Following appointment, the administrators will continue to trade the group while exploring all possible options for its future including a sale of all or parts of the business.

Peter Saville, joint administrator and partner at Zolfo Cooper, said: “Recently, Clintons has been faced with extremely challenging trading conditions, particularly in its Birthdays subsidiary, where the combined cost to the Group in terms of acquisition cost and accumulated losses is estimated to have been in excess of £130 million since 2004. Despite evaluating ways to restructure its business, Clintons was unfortunately unable to secure adequate support or funding for its restructuring plans. The challenging business environment, and in particular the increased competition for greetings cards and related products, meant that the Group required radical restructuring and administration was the last remaining option available.

“Our first priority is to stabilise the business and assess its financial position. We will continue to trade the business whilst we undertake a full marketing exercise to find buyers for all or parts of the Group so that the best possible outcome can be achieved for stakeholders.

“It is likely that a number of stores will need to be closed in order to make the business financially viable. However, Clinton Cards and Birthdays are very well-known brands on the high street and we believe that there is a strong underlying core business. We are therefore confident that it is an attractive proposition for a range of potential buyers and welcome expressions of interest from third parties.”