It was announced on Wednesday 4 December that card retailer Clintons – the UK’s second largest retail specialist – had effectively been sold back to its owners in a pre-pack administration deal that safeguards 2,500 jobs.
While the deal means that the chain’s 334 stores can continue to trade through the Christmas season, it does leave a question mark over the outstanding monies owed to suppliers, including a number of greeting card publishers as well as gift and party suppliers.
Suppliers are waiting to be informed as to what is to happen to monies owed from stock that was shipped to Clintons stores prior to the administration as well as the terms for future stock requirements.
The latest development comes just three months after it was announced that Clintons was being put up for sale, with KPMG appointed to explore options.
“Like so many of our fellow high street retailers, we have worked tirelessly to contend with the maelstrom of issues impacting the sector, from business rates pressures, to fragile consumer confidence and the lack of clarity around the taxation of online retail businesses,” said Eddie Shepherd, ceo of Clintons.
Despite bids being received to buy the Clintons business from those both within the trade and outside, these were not accepted. The next option taken was to negotiate with landlords about the launch of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which would have needed support from at least 75% of creditors to go through.
“Despite receiving support from a number of landlords, we were unfortunately unable to secure the requisite support needed to successfully launch our proposals.” Eddie also said that: “with no other investment options available, we therefore had to take the difficult step to place the company into administration.”