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Clintons in crisis as speculation grows

Concerns grow for the UK’s second largest specialist greeting cards chain.

Greeting card retailer Clintons has featured across much of the consumer and online news during the past few days as concerns grow for the UK’s second largest specialist chain.

The coverage is based around talks that Clintons is having with landlords with a view to exploring the possibility of a CVA.

‘Clintons to shut one in five of the greeting card chain’s 332 sites’ proclaimed this weekend’s Sunday Telegraph, which speculated that 66 of Clintons stores have been earmarked for closure, with rent reductions being sought on more than 200 of the remainder.

The Sunday Times followed suit with ‘Clintons warns that 2,500 jobs are in peril’, while BBC News favoured the headline ‘Clintons in survival talks over shop closures and rent cuts’ and Retail Gazette chose the ‘Clintons to shut 1 in 5 shops’ angle.

The Clintons senior management team and owners have kept a very low profile. The only official statement, issued by its PR agent is that: “Discussions are continuing, but no decisions have been made.”

In 2018, Clintons announced losses of £14.2 million (an improvement on the £19.4 million loss the year before) on sales of £188 million (down from £201 million the year previously). It was first announced that Clintons was being put up for sale in September, with accountancy firm KPMG investigating the options.

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