Closures are on cards for shops

SEVEN greetings card stores are to close in the county, the Evening Telegraph understands.

A leaked closure list that has been seen by the paper reveals that the only Clinton Cards or Birthdays store in the north of the county that will remain open is in Kettering, putting several jobs at risk.

Administrators Zolfo Cooper were called into the troubled chain last week, which also owns the Birthdays branded stores, and subsequently announced it will close 350 stores nationwide.

Corby is set to lose both its Birthdays store, in Corporation Street, and its Clinton Cards outlet in Willow Place.

The store in Wellingborough’s Swansgate Centre is in line for closure, as is the one in Kettering’s High Street, but the town’s Newlands Centre shop will remain open.

Dan Pickard, director of Corby’s Willow Place, said: “It’s unfortunate and we’re disappointed that Birthdays is to close.

“It’s always a risk when administrators are brought in and they’ve decided to close 350 stores.

“I feel for the staff at the stores.

“But Corby will still have a very good card offer with the Card Factory store in the town centre and other retailers that stock cards.”

Three stores are also set to close in Northampton.

Peter Saville, joint administrator and partner at Zolfo Cooper, said: “Given the sheer size of the Clinton Cards retail estate and the overall performance, we were left with no alternative to this difficult decision.

“I am hopeful that the action we have taken will allow us to preserve value in the core underlying business, thereby allowing us and potential buyers to focus on a profitable and viable retail estate going forward.”

Stores will begin closing from next week into June.