Louth Clinton Cards store is saved after mass buyout

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LOUTH’S Clinton Cards store is among nearly 400 which have been sold to a US greetings firm, safeguarding 4,500 jobs including six locally.

The buyout on Thursday saw Lakeshore Lending Ltd, a subsidiary of American Greetings, snap up 397 of the troubled retailer’s stores across the country.

The store in the Market Place has been the subject of much speculation locally after the card retailer went into administration in May due to reported debts of over £100 million.

The store in Skegness is also on the buyout list, but the branch in nearby Boston faces more uncertainty after it was named among those retained by administrators Zolfo Cooper.

This leaves Zolfo Cooper with 400 Clinton Cards-branded stores, a number which they say supports a ‘viable business’ which is ‘significantly better placed to operate in today’s challenging market’.

At present it remains unclear whether the Louth branch will continue to be run under the Clinton Cards name and what changes, if any, will be made.

The firm’s rivals, WH Smith and Card Factory, both appeared to be ready to table bids for some stores and joint administrator Peter Saville admitted a ‘significant number of credible expressions of interest’ had been received.

“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,” he said in a statement.

American Greetings’ chief executive officer, Zev Weiss, said: “We would like to see Clinton Cards continue as an important retailer in the speciality channel of distribution in the UK greeting card market.”

What do you make of the buyout of the stores? Email your views to sam.kinnaird@jpress.co.uk.