Jobs reprieve at high street store

Branch Manager Clare Rouse (left) and Deputy Manager Nicola Coxon unfurl a banner.
Branch Manager Clare Rouse (left) and Deputy Manager Nicola Coxon unfurl a banner.
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A CARD shop has rebranded to rise from the ashes and resume trading.

Staff at the Clinton’s Cards stores on Church Street and in the Houndshill Shopping Centre were made redundant when the firm went into administration in June.

Despite outlets being sold to Ohio-based American Greetings, both stores, along with the Birthdays store on Victoria Street – which was part of the same company – closed down.

But after rebranding the company as Clinton’s, American Greetings has re-opened a store in the former Birthdays site and employed its former members of staff.

Manager Clare Rouse, 26, was transferred to Clinton’s Cards’ shop in Preston when the lease at the Houndshill store ran out.

But she is now resurrecting her retail career in Blackpool following the changes.

She told The Gazette: “I’m really proud to be given this opportunity and Blackpool has got the honour of being the first Clinton’s.

“Eventually all the stores will look like this one, but it will take two years to get to that stage.

“I had hoped I would be given this opportunity because after the last store closed management always saw potential in Blackpool.

“The new store was brought here, we’ve launched it and it’s very exciting.

“In the last few days of trading we’ve been successful and it’s been fantastic.”

More than 400 people were made redundant when administrators closed 43 stores two months ago.

Miss Rouse added: “Houndshill was never supposed to close but the lease ended.

“We now feel we are in a prime location where we will get the footfall from the town centre and so far we’ve had some really positive feedback.

“The staff have had to reapply for their jobs because there were some redundancies, but we now have a mix of the old team at Clinton’s and Birthdays.”

Catherine Henshall, 18, got her job back at Clinton’s after being made redundant.

She added: “I’m relieved to be back in work because it was difficult when I first found out what had happened in the old shop.

“It was a shock to find out it had re-opened. I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s nice to have the opportunity to come back.”

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