UPDATE: Administrator says it is ‘likely’ that some Clinton Cards stores will shut

THE ADMINISTRATOR for Clinton Cards is confident of finding a buyer for the chain but says it is ‘likely’ that some stores will have to close.

The card retailer has a store in Pescod Square, Boston and it is not yet clear if this will survive the chain’s current troubles.

Yesterday specialists Zolfo Cooper were appointed as administrators for the firm, which has more than 750 stores across Clinton Cards and Birthdays mploying 8,000 full time and part time staff.

Peter Saville, Joint Administrator and Partner at Zolfo Cooper said: “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.”

Wednesday: STAFF at Boston’s Clinton Cards store in Pescod Square face an uncertain future with the company set to enter into administration today.

The card retailer has suspended trading in its shares in a move that is widely expected to signal the firm, which has 628 stores, going into administration later today.

In a stock exchange statement the company said its banks - Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland - had sold its £35m of debts to American Greetings, a US greeting card and e-card retailer.

Clinton says it expects American Greetings to enforce the loan, which it cannot pay.

The statement said: “Having secured control of the debt, American Greetings immediately informed the board that it intended to enforce the loan against the company and 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.

“Cards and gifts retailer Clinton Cards expects to enter administration, becoming the latest casualty on the British high street after its biggest supplier American Greetings bought up loans from its banks and promptly called them in.”

A spokesman for Speed Communications, which is handling press inquiries on Clinton Cards, said they were unable to release further information with regards to the Boston store at this stage.