July 30 2014 Latest news:
By REBECCA GOUGH
Monday, July 23, 2012
The Thetford branch of Clinton Cards will close its doors for the final time today (Monday), with the loss of up to four jobs.
The group, the UK’s biggest specialist cards retailer, fell into administration last month after its biggest supplier, American Greetings, called in a £35 million debt, putting it in pole position to buy the chain by making it a preferential creditor.
Some 397 of its stores were sold to Ohio-based American Greetings, saving 4,500 jobs across the country.
But administrators Zolfo Cooper have now announced the closure of the last remaining 76 shops due to “deteriorating market conditions”.
This, they said, meant there had been no interest in the purchase of them as a growing concern.
Town councillor Terry Jermy said: “I think any shop closing at the moment is a big disappointment for the town. “It’s a bit of a shock and it’s a prime location and good shop. It’s an interesting one because, yes, card shops have suffered with online cheaper alternatives but this time it was the banks.”
Partner at Zolfo Cooper, Peter Saville, said the decision to close the remaining stores was taken with “regret”.
He added: “We are nonetheless pleased that in an extremely challenging retail environment we were able to effect the sale of almost 400 stores thus preserving something in the region of 4,500 jobs.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the employees of the former Clinton Cards business we have worked with during the administration period for their professionalism and dedication and to wish them well for the future.”