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Saturday 23rd of May 2009
May 21, 2009

Loss-making Birthdays enters administration


by Kay Murchie
”Loss-making

Clinton Cards has put its Birthdays greetings card chain into administration after it said it could not provide funding to the loss-making chain anymore. The announcement puts 2,200 jobs at risk.

Peter Saville of Zolfo Cooper, who has been appointed administrator, said: “Despite today’s announcement, I would like to reassure customers that it is business as usual for Birthdays and we will be continuing to trade while we explore all options for the business.”

“We remain hopeful of securing the future of the business despite the harsh trading environment being experienced by all retailers at present.

“These stores have a strong brand identity and are predominantly situated in excellent retail locations and there are still plenty of opportunities to succeed on the High Street”.

Birthdays’ Irish operation will continue to trade as normal.

The Birthdays chain, which was acquired by Clinton Cards in December 2004, will also continue to trade while administrators explore all avenues with regard to its future.

Following the news, shares in Clinton’s gained 30% to 21.75p and the group said like-for-like sales at Birthdays actually rose 2.3% for the 13 weeks to 3 May.

However, Clinton’s said the current economic environment meant “it could not sustain Birthdays’ £7 million annual losses.“

Today’s announcement means the economic downturn is still having a devastating impact on retailers. Hardware and electricals store, Robert Dyas, was recently bought out of administration by its management, while Adams Childrenswear was bought out of administration in February by its former owner.

However, the downturn has claimed high profile names after Woolworths, which was one of the UK’s oldest chains, collapsed into administration last November after struggling under a mountain of debt of £385 million and faced severe pressure from competition from large supermarkets and the internet.

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Tags: , , Birthdays, Clinton Cards, , greeting cards, , loss-making, ,

 

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