Bosses of greetings card chain Clintons plan to close 66 shops

Will Clintons be the next casualty on our dying High Streets? Bosses of greetings card chain are planning to close 66 shops in cost-cutting drive

  • Clintons looks to shift more than 200 stores to rent deals tied to performance
  • The card chain needs a majority of its landlords to consent to the agreement
  • Clintons is trying to push the proposals through using an insolvency procedure
  • Backers ‘are prepared to put company into administration’ if agreement fails

Greetings card chain Clintons could become the latest casualty on the High Street, as it looks to close 66 shops to save money.

The retailer, which operates more than 300 stores, wants to shift another 206 of its locations on to rent deals tied to the shops’ performance.

Clintons is trying to push the proposals through using a controversial insolvency procedure called a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) on November 20, but it needs a majority of its landlords to consent.

Greetings card chain Clintons could become the latest casualty on the High Street, as it looks to close 66 shops to save money. It comes only days after Mothercare was forced to close all 79 of its UK stores last week

Clintons’ backers, the Weiss family, are understood to be prepared to put the business into administration if the CVA is not passed – a move which would put 2,500 jobs at risk.

This newspaper’s long-running Save Our High Streets campaign calls for a level playing field between traditional shops and their newer online rivals 

It comes only days after Mothercare was forced to close all 79 of its UK stores last week, and as figures reveal that Britain’s high streets have suffered their worst October on record in terms of customer visits. 

The number of people who went into a high street shop tumbled by 4.9 per cent last month, according to data from Springboard.

In response, some of retail’s biggest names called on the next Chancellor to launch an urgent review of business rates.

The bosses of Sainsbury’s, Ikea UK, Primark and Halfords slammed the ‘unfair’ tax that punishes businesses which operate in bricks-and-mortar stores rather than online.

Sainsbury’s Mike Coupe, Ikea’s Peter Jelkeby, Primark’s John Bason and Halfords’ Graham Stapleton said retailers will go under if changes are not made to the business rates system.

A Clintons Star Wars birthday card is pictured above. The retailer, which operates more than 300 stores, wants to shift another 206 of its locations on to rent deals tied to the shops’ performance

This newspaper’s long-running Save Our High Streets campaign calls for a level playing field between traditional shops and their newer online rivals.

Less than two weeks ago, a committee of MPs called for a root and branch review of the rates, which it said were overly complex and unfit for the way modern businesses operated.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mr Coupe said: ‘We pay well over £500 million in business rates – that has a weight on our organisation and our ability to invest.

‘We are the seventh largest taxpayer as a corporation, but in the 90s in terms of the size of business. That would suggest we pay a disproportionate amount of taxation as a business.’

Mr Jelkeby, Ikea’s boss in the UK and Ireland, added: ‘Tax needs to be more fit for purpose. It needs to be fair.’

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