THE future of another of Leven High Street’s shops has been plunged into uncertainty after Clinton Cards was placed in administration.
Peter Saville, Simon Freakley and Anne O’Keefe, partners at corporate advisory and restructuring specialists Zolfo Cooper, were appointed joint administrators over Clinton Cards Plc and its subsidiaries, including Birthdays Retail Limited last Wednesday afternoon.
The group is the UK’s largest specialist retailer of greetings cards and related products with in excess of 750 stores.
However it has faced stiff competition from supermarkets and customised online services, such as Moonpig, in recent years, with the Leven branch itself positioned next door to discount retailer The Card Factory.
Administrators said the group had made losses of £130 million since 2004.
The chain will continue to trade, as a buyer is sought, though administrators have already stated it is “likely” that a number of stores will need to be closed in order to make the business financially viable.
Peter Saville, joint administrator and partner at Zolfo Cooper said: “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.
“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.”
Clintons was founded in 1968 and employs over 8000 full and part-time staff. It is not known how many people are employed in Leven with shop staff instructed not to speak to the press.