Clinton branch avoids closure... for now

Clinton's Leven High Street card shop

Clinton's Leven High Street card shop

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THE Leven High Street branch of Clinton Cards has avoided the first round of ‘imminent’ closures put in place by administrators.

The greetings card specialist and its subsidiaries, including Birthdays Retail Ltd, fell into administration on May 9 with partners from Zolfo Cooper appointed joint administrators.

A week later they announced the decision to close around 350 stores, but didn’t specify locations except for saying that all of the group’s Birthdays stores would be shut.

However, last Wednesday the administrators gave hope to employees by announcing only 44 store closures, of which Leven’s High Street branch was not one. The administrators added others earmarked to shut may stay open longer than previously thought but insisted further store closures across the estate were to be expected in forthcoming weeks, subject to discussions with landlords and interested parties.

Peter Saville, joint administrator and partner at Zolfo Cooper said: “We have received expressions of interest from a number of third parties and are confident that the remaining retail estate will be better placed going forward.

“It appears unlikely, however, that we will be able to find a buyer for the majority of the Birthdays stores and our analysis highlights that we cannot justify continuing to trade certain Birthdays and Clinton Cards stores into June. As a result, there is no alternative option but to close these 44 stores in May.”

Redundancies at the company’s head office in Essex have affected 66 employees.