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Card shop workers breathe sigh of relief as rescue deal sealed

PUBLISHED: 09:50 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:50 05 December 2019

Clintons card shop in Tavern Street, Ipswich  Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

Clintons card shop in Tavern Street, Ipswich Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

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Anxious Clintons card shop workers across towns including Ipswich will keep their jobs across the crucial Christmas period - after the troubled chain was sold back to its existing owners.

The high street chain went into administration, but administrators KPMG have now sold it to a new firm set up and controlled by the Weiss family, owners of Clintons for the past seven years.

It means around 2,500 jobs have been secured as part of the so-called 'pre-pack' administration, and means its 334 stores will continue to trade throughout the festive season.

MORE - Then and now: 10 years of change on Ipswich high street (Part 3)

The greetings card chain - which also has stores in Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft, Stowmarket, Felixstowe, Halstead, Haverhill, Colchester and Braintree - faced mounting cash flow pressures because of challenging high street trading conditions, said KPMG.

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It's the second time Clintons has gone into administration in the last seven years.

The Weiss family had been looking for an exit with a possible sale of Clintons, but the chain had also been holding talks with landlords over a possible company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to shut stores and slash rents.

Clintons chief executive Eddie Shepherd said he was confident the deal would kickstart a new chapter for the business.

"Despite receiving support from a number of landlords, we were unfortunately unable to secure the requisite support needed to successfully launch our proposals," he explained.

"With no other investment options available, we therefore had to take the difficult step to place the company into administration."

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