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“It depends on what you see Clintons as, but the girls in the offi ce see it as downmarket. I don’t think you’ll get independents taking those units but it would be a good thing if they did. They’re going to halve the estate and either the family will buy it back or someone else will run it. The worst that can happen is Card Factory move into the units – they sold 25 per cent of the UK’s Christmas cards last year, that’s 120 million cards.


“Clintons took leases out for too long at high


levels. They should have refreshed their model but they’re on the list with Woolworths, Peacocks, Blockbuster and others, no one could envisage how the internet would change the model. It’s changed the way we envisage ourselves and we have been told by our customers we have a lovely website. DARREN RUNNETTE, ARTBEAT


“It’s hard to see where it’s going, I think they will continue on much smaller, downscale, but the sales will fi lter down to the rest of the industry. “I think they will have about 300 branches and will make money. Fundamentally their issues started when they bought Birthdays just to


buy out the opposition, then Card Factory came in and Moonpig which they just didn’t get to grips with. And they had a lot of stores with humungous rents.” JOHN SUTTON, LING DESIGN


“I’ve seen an upsurge in other retailers. I think there’s still a place for Clinton Cards but not on the scale they were before, not on a large scale. I think it’s going to have a major impact on the High Street. It’s sad that people have lost their jobs.” LISA EHLERS, CRACKER CARDS


“It’s really great news for the independents. Clinton’s sold cards at quite high prices and Card Factory sell everything cheaply and now it’s up to the independents to come up with a better card at a reasonable price.” NATHAN HITCHCOCK, SECOND NATURE


“It’s not affected us, we supply independent retailers. We’ve said no to Clinton’s because we didn’t want to hit our retailers. It’s helping the little guys – and I mean little in the nicest possible way. We have 1500 independents which we supply and Clintons could have killed them off.” STUART HANCOCK, JEAN BARRINGTON


St John St; Livingston; Llandudno, Mostyn St; Londonderry; Long Eaton; Loughborough; Loughton; Louth; Lowestoft, London Rd; Luton; Lymighton; Macclesfi eld, Mill St; Maidenhead, Nicholson’s Walk; Maidstone, Dukes Walk; Maidstone, Fremlin; Manchester, Arndale Ctr; Manchester, Trafford Ctr; Mansfi eld, Four Seasons; Market Harbourogh, High St; Melton Mowbray, Bell Centre; Middlesbrough, Linthorp Rd; Milton Keynes, Kingston Ctr; Milton Keynes, Midsummer Arc; Montrose, High St; Morpeth; Neath; Newark, St Mark’s Place; Newark, The Arcade; Newbury, Northbrook St; Newcastle, Douglas Way; Newcastle-Under-Lyme,


High St; Newport, Gwent; Newport, IOW; Newquay, Bank St; Newton Abbot; Newton Mearns, Cross Ctr; Newtown; Newtown Abbey, Abbey Ctr; Northallerton; Northwich, Witton St; Norwich, Castle Mall; Norwich, Chapelfi eld; Nottingham, Victoria Ctr; Nuneaton, Market Place; Oldham, Town Sq; Omagh, Market Sq; Orpington, Shopping Park; Oxford, Westgate Ctr; Paignton; Penrith, Angel Sq; Perth; Peterborough, Hampton; Peterborough, Queensgate Ctr; Peterhead, Marischal St; Petersfi eld; Plymouth, Drakes Circus; Plymouth, New George St; Pontefract; Poole, Dophin Ctr; Portsmouth, Commercial Rd; Portsmouth, Gunwharf; Prescot; Preston


Word from the street


Suppliers’ and retailers’ opinion


“I think it will make everyone be more careful in taking on leases for premises at high costs. We all just need to be more careful about the leases and the clauses in them. We’re looking at going into having a shop but going very carefully because your business can be sound but you’ll still go under if the lease costs are too high.” ROBIN NETHERTON, INNOCENT ART


“Overall, its going to be good for the independent retailer but it depends how they react. For Otter House, Clintons would never deal with us for calendars because they saw us as competition so for us it’s going to be good because it opens up other accounts that may now deal with us.


They wouldn’t take our cards either, we tried lots of different ways , Images and Editions among the different names, but as soon as they realised it was Otter House they wouldn’t take them.” GRAHAM GOODHEAD, OTTER HOUSE


“They do really well with our Chinese New Year cards and the night before they went into administration I’d just fi nished a two-hour conference call with them and had fi nalised all the details for our Eid, Diwali and Jewish New Year cards so were waiting for the contracts to come through. Now we’re waiting to hear from the administrators to see if they’ll go with the order. It was lucky we hadn’t send the printer’s order” RANJEEV ARORA, DAVORA


“I’m a retailer in a small town so we didn’t have anything like a Clintons, but hopefully people will come to us from other areas now.” SUE SMITH, CARDS FOR ARTS SAKE & PAPRIKA SHOP


“I think it’s affected quite a few people but I wasn’t supplying them so it doesn’t affect me. But it should do a lot of good for the independents.” SOULA ZAVACOPOULOS, THE LONDON STUDIO


47b/48 Fishergate; Preston, Fairgate Walk Putney; Rayleigh, High St; Reading, Broad St,; Reading, The Oracle Redcar; Redditch, Kingfi sher Ctr; Redhill, Belfry Ctr; Reigate; Retford; Rhyl, High St; Rochdale, Market Way; Romford, The Liberty Ctr; Romsey; Rotherham, College St; Rugby, Clock Towers Ctr; Rugely, Lower Brook St; Ryde, IOW; Saffron Walden, King St; Sailsbury, Old George Mall; Scarborough, Brunswick Pav; Scarborough, Westbroro; Scunthorpe, High St; Seaford; Sevenoaks; Sheffi eld, Crystal Peaks; Sheffi eld, Fargate; Sheffi eld, Hillsboro Ctr; Sheffi eld, Meadowhall; Shrewsbury, 13 Pride Hill; Sittingbourne, Forum Ctr; Skegness, Lumley Rd; Skipton, Sheep St;


Solihull, Mill Lane; Solihull, Shirley; Solihull, Touchwood Court; South Shields, King St; Southampton, West Quay; Southend, 138 High St; Southport; Southsea, Palmerston Rd; Spalding; Speke; St Albans, St Peter’s St St Andrews; St Helens, Church St; St Helier, Jersey; St Ives; St Neots, High St; St Peter Port, Gurnsey; Stafford, Greengate St; Staines, Elmsleigh Ctr; Stevenage, Queensway; Stirling, Thistle Marches; Stockport, Merseyway; Stockton, Wellington Sq; Stone, High St; Stratford City; Stratford UA, Bridge St; Sudbury, North St; Sunderland; Sutton Coldfi eld, Gracechurch; Sutton, High St; Swadlincote, High St; Swindon, Regent St; Swindon, West Swindon Ctr;


“It’s very fl uid at the moment because they’ve got a lot of our products and they still are selling. The administrators are organising products from us because they need them, especially the One Direction stuff.


“I think we’ll end up in a


situation where we have a much healthier High Street with more card outlets. We’re just going through a period of change.


“An interesting thing on the blog on the BBC website is that after the initial shocked comments, it settled down and people were saying ‘I like going to the High Street to buy cards, what do I do now?’ My guess is that men buy on line, women like to go to the shop to choose so they want good stores.”


TREVOR JONES, DANILO


“I think there is a Woolworths effect which is taking away footfall from the High Street so that’s not good. Our independent customers are happy because one of the big competitors is under threat, but eventually I thing they will come back bigger and stronger,


leaner, so the independents need to get in there while the going is good.” JAMES BURGESS, CARTE BLANCHE


“I guess it will help the independent retailers and support smaller businesses, we’ll see in the long run how much of the fallout if this is people coming to the independents.” ALEC McCARTHY, ALEC’S CARDS


“We had a few emails asking if we had stock left over to sell to Clintons, from people wanting to take it off our hands.”


CLAIRE KESTALL, ALEC’S CARDS


“Hopefully it will help the independents. My fi rst thought was there is more for the others, so hopefully it will help.” KEVIN SMITH, CARDS FOR ARTS SAKE & PAPRIKA SHOP


“I think it’s unfortunate for the employees but it could be a positive thing for the industry because it’s going to bring in new people with these smaller chains buying up some of the outlets.


“In the long term I think it would be


interesting for the independents,” MARK WILLIAMS, BRAINBOX CANDY


Tamworth, Ankerside Ctr; Taunton, Fore St; Taunton, Old Market Ctr; Tavistock; Telford, Telford Ctr; Tenterden; Thame; Thanet, The Fort; Thurrock, 333 Lakeside; Thurrock, Lakeside U57/58; Tonbridge; Torquay; Truro, Pydar St; Tunbridge Wells; Uxbridge, Pavillions Ctr; Uxbridge, The Chimes; Wakefi eld, Bishops Gate Walk; Wallington; Wallsall, Park St; Warrington, The Mall; Washington, The Galleries Ctr; Watford, U18 Harlequin Ctr Wellingborough, Swangate Ctr; Welwyn, Howard Ctr; Weston Super Mare; Weymouth; White City; Whitehaven, King St; Wigan, Grand Arcade; Wimslow; Wimbledon; Winsdor, Peascod Rd; Winton; Witney; Woking, Peacock Ctr; Woking, Wosley Walk;


Wokingham; Wolverhampton, Dudley St; Worcester; Workington, Risman Place; Worksop; Wothing, Montague Ctr; Worthing, Montague St; Wreham, Eagles Meadow; Yeovil, Middle St; York, Coney St; York, Monks Cross; Birthday Stores acquired by Lakeshore Lending Ltd, a subsidiary of American Greetings Corp: Belfast; Cannock; Chatham; Corby; Denton; Doncaster, Lakeside; Ealing; Gainsborough; Glasgow, Braehead SC; Heanor; Hempstead Valley; Inverness, Eastgate Ctr; Ipswich; Newport Gwent; Northampton; Northfi eld; Salford, Lowry Ctr; Stockton; Stowmarket; Wigan, Robin Retail Park;


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