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Birthdays in Barking still faces axe despite buyer deal

PUBLISHED: 12:28 08 June 2012

Administration: The Birthdays shop at the Vicarage Field shopping centre is still earmarked for closure despite buyer deal

Administration: The Birthdays shop at the Vicarage Field shopping centre is still earmarked for closure despite buyer deal

Archant

The Birthdays shop in Barking is still set to close despite a buyer saving hundreds of Clinton Card stores and some of its smaller subsidiary.

In May Zolfo Cooper were appointed to oversee the sale of the 750 Clinton Cards PLC and Birthday Retail Limited stores nationwide as costs and debts spiralled to £130 million.

A store closure plan was outlined with all Birthdays store earmarked for the axe.

Yesterday 397 stores, including 20 Birthdays, were sold but the Barking store in the Vicarage Field Shopping Centre, Ripple Road, Barking, remains in control of the administrators.

The deal with Lakeshore Lending Limited means 4,500 jobs of the 8,000 jobs initially under threat nationwide have been saved.

Peter Saville, Joint Administrator and Partner at Zolfo Cooper said: “We have always been of the view that despite an intensely competitive retail environment and what proved to be excessively ambitious expansion plans in recent years, there was a strong underlying business contained within Clinton Cards.

“We would like to thank the staff for their dedication and patience throughout what has been an understandably difficult time for all concerned and we wish both them and the new owners of the business every success for the future.”

Having concluded the sale of the core Clinton Cards business, administrators will now focus their efforts on the store portfolio identified as part of the closure programme but continue to welcome potential buyers for these.

At the time of going in to administration the group had 750 stores and 2011 revenues of over £360 million across its two retail brands.


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