New hope for Clinton’s staff

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THERE IS fresh hope today for three borough greetings card stores after Clinton’s Cards was purchased by a USA greetings giant.

Ohio-based American Greetings, which has been one of Clinton’s biggest suppliers, will take on the brands and assets of the retailer.

The group, which was the UK’s biggest specialist cards retailer and operated 628 Clintons and 139 Birthdays stores, collapsed into administration in early May.

An estimated 397 stores are expected to be saved in the deal with the US firm, which generates revenues of around £1bn annually, saving 4,500 jobs.

Zolfo Cooper, the administrator, has already announced the closure of around 350 stores, costing the jobs of nearly 3,000 full and part-time staff.

American Greetings placed itself in pole position to buy the chain after it snapped up Clinton’s £35m bank debt, making it a preferential creditor and giving it a strong position in sale talks.

The US company’s UK operation, which is based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, has the brands Camden Graphics, Hanson White, Forget Me Not and Xpressions.

It supplies various outlets including major supermarkets chains.