Birthdays store in Barking faces axe

Staff at a Birthdays store in Barking face an uncertain future after their parent group Clinton Cards collapsed into administration.

The eight employees work at the Birthdays shop inside Vicarage Field shopping centre in Ripple Road, Barking.

The 8,000-staff chain went into administration yesterday with accumulated costs and debts of more than �130million.

Administrators, Zolfo Cooper, acknowledged stores could be axed as part of a potential takeover bid.

Peter Saville, of Zolfo Cooper, said: “Recently, Clintons has been faced with extremely challenging trading conditions, particularly in its Birthdays subsidiary, where the combined cost to the group in terms of acquisition cost and accumulated losses is estimated to have been in excess of �130m since 2004.

“We will continue to trade the business whilst we undertake a full marketing exercise to find buyers for all or parts of the group.

“It is likely that a number of stores will need to be closed in order to make the business financially viable.”