Reprieve for card shops

CLINTON Cards in Sudbury will continue trading for at least a few more weeks after being handed a temporary reprieve, writes Neil Bracegirdle.

Zolfo Cooper, the joint administrators of Clinton Cards and Birthdays Retail Limited, has announced that 44 stores will close across the UK after the company was unable to repay a loan of £35million to US card retailer American Greeting.

However, Sudbury’s North Street shop, which employs eight staff, has not been named in the list of stores due to close, nor has the branch in High Street, Halstead.

This leaves staff at the two stores with an anxious wait to discover their fate, with further closures expected in the next few weeks.

Peter Saville, joint administrator and partner at Zolfo Cooper, said: “The decision regarding the remaining stores will be finalised over the coming weeks and some stores currently earmarked for closure may remain open or continue to trade for longer than initially envisaged.

“Further store closures across the remaining Birthdays estate and certain Clinton Cards traded stores are expected in the forthcoming weeks, although this remains subject to a number of ongoing discussions with landlords and interested parties.”

Redundancies at the company’s head office in Essex have also been made since the company went into administration earlier this month.

Mr Saville added: “Since our appointment, we have been seeking to preserve value and sell the core underlying business as a going concern.

“We have received expressions of interest from a number of third parties and are confident that the remaining retail estate will be better placed going forward.”