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Job loss fears as card chain is forced into administration
8:50am Sunday 20th May 2012 in Local news
Retail staff at nine local Clinton Cards shops have been plunged into uncertainty about their future after the greetings card chain was forced into administration by its largest supplier.
More than 8,000 jobs nationally were put on the line after Clinton Cards became the latest casualty of the highstreet spending slump, last week.
The group, which is the UK’s biggest specialist cards retailer with 628 Clinton and 139 Birthdays stores, collapsed after failing to find a buyer for all or parts of the business. Administrators at Zolfo Cooper said the group had made losses of £130 million since 2004 and it was “likely a number of stores would need to be closed to make the business financially viable”.
Clinton Cards has nine local branches including Ilkley, Skipton and Guiseley.
Zolfo Cooper will continue to trade the business as a going concern and said it remained confident it will be attractive to potential buyers.
The firm’s plight was sealed after its banks – Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland – sold the company’s £35 million of loans to its biggest supplier. But whereas the banks waived certain conditions, American Greetings told the company it planned to enforce the loan, pushing the company into an administration process.
Bradford-based Hallmark Cards has been a key Clinton Cards supplier. A company spokesman said deliveries had continued until administrators were appointed.