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Card retailer, Clintons, is looking to close around a fifth of its stores in order to avoid going bust. With ‘acute financial distress’ being faced, restructuring advisers from FRP Advisory have been brought in, to work on rescue plans – said to include a debt-for-equity swap.
Looking back, it was just 4 years ago that Clintons went through a pre-pack administration. This involved closing 156 stores and being purchased by its previous owner, the Weiss family, of whom own American Greetings. Before this, in 2012, when Clintons had 784 stores, it entered administration.
Even with the mass closure of stores and cutting costs, rebuilding of Clintons’ finances proved difficult. There was talks of a merger with Paperchase in December 2022, but nothing came of this.
According to documents seen by The Times, Clintons’ store closure plan has been designed to “avoid insolvency and be rescued as a going concern”. Additionally, the retailer “will have no option but to commence formal insolvency proceedings” if it does not secure a deal.
Clintons currently trades from 179 stores and is one of the biggest privately owned retailers in Britain. With the cost of living crisis and inflationary pressures, we are seeing a lot of businesses struggle. Could it be that Clintons are suffering with a lack of consumers buying, after finding the cheaper alternatives such as Card Factory and Cards Direct – more suitable in such a time of living?