A HIGH Street shop in Uttoxeter under threat of closure after its owners went into administration has been saved — for now.
Clinton Cards’ Uttoxeter branch’s future has been hanging in the balance since the chain went into administration earlier this month after its largest supplier pressed for repayments on loans the company could not meet.
Zolfo Cooper were appointed joint administrators over Clinton Cards Plc and its subsidiaries, including Birthdays, and announced the decision to close numerous stores and make the Birthdays chain of card shops redundant.
The administrators have now confirmed which stores will be closed before the end of May and which ones will remain open.
Imminent closures include 25 Birthdays traded stores and 19 Clinton Cards branded stores, affecting a total of 300 full and part time staff — however Uttoxeter’s store and its six members of staff have been granted a reprieve.
Zolfo Cooper said the decision regarding the remaining Clinton Cards branded 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 Birthdays and certain Clinton Cards traded stores are expected in the forthcoming weeks, although the administrators said this remains subject to ongoing discussions with landlords and interested parties.
Peter Saville, joint administrator and partner at Zolfo Cooper, said: “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.
“It appears unlikely, however, that we will be able to find a buyer for the majority of the Birthdays stores and our analysis highlights that we cannot justify continuing to trade certain Birthdays and Clinton Cards stores into June.
“As a result, there is no alternative option but to close these 44 stores in May. We are fully aware of the impact these closures will have and are working with a number of relevant agencies and third parties to assist employees affected by the store closures.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all employees for their professionalism and dedication during this difficult time.”