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Greeting cards trade reacts following Cardzone-Clintons deal

The greeting cards industry has reacted positively to the acquisition of Clintons by Pillarbox Designs, the parent company of Cardzone.

The deal – news of which was broken by sister title PG Buzz on 4 March – sees Clintons 163 trading stores join with Cardzone’s 180 stores to form what Paul Taylor, founder of the family business is proud to describe as “now the only national specialist chain selling quality cards.”

Clintons has been owned by the Weiss family, founders of American Greetings (the parent company of UK Greetings) since 2012.

Pillarbox’s acquisition of Clintons comes after several attempts over the years, with the two parties getting really close to sealing a deal just before Covid.

“We met again last September and have been to-ing and fro-ing ever since then, but yes it is a relief to get it over the line this time,” added James Taylor, trading director.

Paul confirmed that the plan is to retain the Clintons brand.

Reactions to the deal were gathered by PG Buzz from across the business.

Daniel Prince, managing director at Danilo, welcomed the “fantastic news”. He said: “I know how hard Paul has been working to get the deal completed, so it’s great that it finally happened. Clintons is a massive part of UK greeting card history, and a strong brand that’s now in safe hands with Paul and the Cardzone team.”

Graeme Karavis, group md of Hallmark UKI and ANZ, commented: “We see this as very good news for the industry. Jobs will be protected, it supports the High Street and, most important of all, it provides access for consumers to great greeting cards. Paul and the team have a track record of success and we look forward to supporting him in growing the business and differentiating his proposition from the grocers.”

Meanwhile for Abacus Cards md Nick Carey it’s “absolutely great news”, and he said the growth of an independent retailer on UK High Streets” is just what we all need”, adding: “This will cement the card and gift market for years to come. Truly fab news.”

Want to read more news like this? Check out our sister site PG Buzz by clicking here, where you can also subscribe to twice-weekly dedicated newsletters and breaking news from the greeting cards industry.

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