Clintons

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AG Retail Cards Ltd
Trading name Clintons
Type Retail
Founded 1968
Founder(s) Don Lewin
Headquarters Loughton, Essex,
England
Key people Dominique Schurman, CEO
Parent American Greetings
Website www.clintoncards.co.uk

Clintons, previously branded as Clinton Cards, is a chain of stores in the UK founded in 1968 by Don Lewin[1] and known for selling greeting cards, together with soft toys and related gift products.

It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE Fledgling Index. On 9 May 2012 the company entered administration[2] and following the closure of 350 branches, the company was bought by American Greetings.

Clintons is managed by Dominique Schurman, from American Greetings' subsidiary, Schurman Retail Group.[3] Starting in July 2012, the company began the gradual introduction of a new store design and logo, which removed the previous "Clinton Cards" branding, replacing it with the new "Clintons" name.[4][3]

History[edit]

Clinton Cards shop in Rugby

Clinton Cards was founded in 1968 when Don Lewin OBE opened his first shop in Epping, Essex. The business grew to 77 shops by 1988 and was then successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange. This enabled the company to increase its rate of growth and by the summer of 1994 the business comprised 277 shops. In October 1994 Clintons acquired 83 shops from Hallmark Cards and in September 1995 acquired 112 shops from Carlton Cards. In October 1998, the entire share capital of GSG Holdings Limited was purchased, adding a further 211 shops to the portfolio. These two important transactions and continuing organic growth were financed without recourse to shareholders.

In 2004 the company purchased the Birthdays chain of card and party shops for £46.4million, but placed the subsidiary into administration in 2009, subsequently buying back 140 of the 332 stores.[5]

Administration[edit]

On 9 May 2012 the company entered administration, with Peter Saville, Simon Freakley and Anne O’Keefe of Zolfo Cooper LLP, appointed as Joint Administrators of the Company. A week later 350 branches were closed, including all the Birthday branches, and the remaining 397 stores were purchased in June 2012 by US based American Greetings' subsidiary Lakeshore Lending Limited.[6]

Shop format[edit]

Clinton Cards operate shops ranging in size from its typical 1,600 square feet (150 m2) shop to its largest shop situated in White Rose Centre, Leeds. The Leeds shop contains 10,750 square feet (999 m2) of floor space over two floors and features a coffee shop with toilets and babychanging facilities, disabled access and a lift between the ground and first floor. The size of the shop means that it can offer a large selection of greetings cards and gifts as well as wide aisles and the space required to allow a higher volume of customers to fill the store. This shop also has a seating area from which customers can view and order wedding stationery.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Card shop folds: 8,000 high street jobs at risk as Clinton Cards sinks into administration". The Mirror. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  2. ^ James Thompson (29 April 2012). "Clinton Cards in turnaround struggle". The Independent. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Emma Simpson (24 December 2012). "Clinton Cards has a new look, but can its reinvention work?". BBC News. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "About us". Clinton Cards. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Clinton Cards set to buy back Birthdays stores after collapse". The Independent. 17 June 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Clinton Cards sold to US firm American Greetings". BBC News. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 

External links[edit]