National: More Clinton Cards and Birthdays stores to close

THE administrators of the failed Clinton Cards and Birthdays retail chains have confirmed that a further 122 stores, including one in Essex, are to close.

Administrator Zolfo Cooper was left with 330 Clinton and Birthdays stores on its hands after selling 397 outlets and the brands and assets of Clinton Cards to a subsdiary of US-based American Greetings, the UK company’s biggest supplier, earlier this month.

The closure of 43 stores, including the former Clinton Cards branch in Ipswich, was confirmed a week ago and Zolfo Cooper has now revealed the identity of a further 122 stores which will close by June 21, including that at the Grove Centre, in Witham.

The rest of the stores remaining with the administrators, including Clinton branches in Diss and Newmarket and the Birthdays store in Clacton, also face the prospect of closure but Zolfo Cooper said it remained open to expressions of interest in the residual estate.

Among the shops included in the sale to American Greetings, which was a major supplier and creditor of the Clinton group, were branches of Clinton Cards in Felixstowe, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Lowestoft, Sudbury, Colchester, Clacton and Chelmsford and the Birthdays stores in Ipswich and Stowmarket.

American Greetings said it believed the stores acquired would prove profitable in the long term.