Card retailer Clintons looking at closing 66 stores

PUBLISHED: 10:37 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:11 11 November 2019

Clintons. Pic: Archant library

Clintons. Pic: Archant library

Clintons card store, which has three shops in Norfolk, is in restructuring talks with landlords over possibly closing 66 of its 332 stores.

Chapelfield shopping centre, where Clintons has a store as well as in Castle Quarter. Pic: ArchantChapelfield shopping centre, where Clintons has a store as well as in Castle Quarter. Pic: Archant

The retailer, also renowned for selling Yankee candles, employs about 2,500 staff nationwide.

It emerged over the weekend that it is considering some store closures and seeking rent reductions from landlords on its other stores.

The restructuring would involve a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), an insolvency process that allows companies to continue trading while pushing through closures and rent cuts.

Clintons has stores in Castle Quarter and Chapelfield shopping centre as well as in the High Street, King's Lynn.

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Many other retailers facing financial difficulties such as Select women's fashion, Carpetright and Mattressman have recently used CVAs. The camera retailer Jessops is also currently looking to secure a CVA deal with creditors to avoid mass shop closures.

Clintons has said it is discussing with its landlords and no decisions have yet been made.

It follows a Sunday Telegraph report that stated Clintons planned to shut one in five of its shops nationwide. It is the latest retailer to seek rent reductions from high street landlords while suffering financial woes.

Clintons is reported to have called a meeting warning landlords it needed to close some stores, while demanding rent reductions on around 206 others which could be moved to a model where rent payments are linked to the store's performance.

Landlords have until November 20 to discuss the restructuring plan.

Clintons is the latest high street retailer to suffer with fashion store Bonmarche going into administration last month - putting 2,900 jobs at risk nationwide - and Mothercare last week announced all its stores will close.

Clintons was founded in 1968 in Essex and by 1988 had 77 shops and then was floated on the London stock exchange enabling it to grow hugely with 277 shops by 1994. It then acquired 83 shops from Hallmark Cards and in 1995 a further 112 shops from Carlton Cards but in 2012 the stores were bought by a US firm American Greetings, its current owners, and the business rebranded.

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