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AG Retail Cards Ltd.
Clinton Cards
IndustryGreeting card
Founded1968; 51 years ago (1968)
FounderDon Lewin
HeadquartersLoughton, Essex,
ParentAmerican Greetings

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 Eddie Shepard,[3] from American Greetings’ subsidiary, Schurman Retail Group.[4] 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][5]


Clinton Cards shop in Rugby
Clinton Cards displaying the new logos in Leeds
Clintons, Putney Exchange, London

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.[6]

In May 2012, the company's main supplier American Greetings bought £36 million of Clintons debt from its main lending banks, and immediately called in the debt for payment.[7] Clinton Cards was unable to make the payment and entered administration on 9 May, 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 Birthdays branches, and the remaining 397 stores were purchased in June 2012 by US based American Greetings' subsidiary Lakeshore Lending Limited.[8]

See also[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. ^ "Eddie Shepherd takes over as ceo of Clintons". Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  4. ^ a b Emma Simpson (24 December 2012). "Clinton Cards has a new look, but can its reinvention work?". BBC News. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  5. ^ "About us". Clinton Cards. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Clinton Cards set to buy back Birthdays stores after collapse". The Independent. 17 June 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  7. ^ Rowley, Emma (7 June 2012). "American Greetings deal 'saves 4,500 Clinton Cards jobs'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Clinton Cards sold to US firm American Greetings". BBC News. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.

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