Mixed news for two card stores

The latest possible high street casualty, Clinton Cards.'9-5-2012
The latest possible high street casualty, Clinton Cards.'9-5-2012
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A NATIONAL chain has closed its main Blackpool branch after the company folded.

But Houndshill bosses have vowed there will be no more job loses at its sister store.

Clinton Cards, the UK’s biggest specialist greetings card chain, went into administration last month and its store on Church Street has now shut its doors.

Many outlets were sold to the Ohio-based American Greetings, in a last minute deal which saved 4,500 jobs but the future of the town centre shop could not be secured.

However, the chain’s second shop in the Houndshill Centre, was saved from closure .

The demise of Clinton Cards is the latest in a series of shock closures for Blackpool town centre and follows the loss of high street stores Peacock and Game.

Eileen Ormand, Blackpool Town Centre and Business Improvement District (BID) manager, told The Gazette: “I was really pleased when American Greetings bought out Clinton Cards.

“But I was devastated to hear we are losing Clintons and glad to know the remaining two stores are going to remain open.”

Despite the closure of the Church Street store, the BID team has received a lot of interest from companies eager to fill the vacant premises.

Mrs Ormand added: “Since Clintons put a closure notice up we hoped for the best and that they would be saved, but I feel sorry for the people who have lost their jobs.

“There has been a certain level of interest from people who have seen the empty store and want to move in.”

Bosses at the Houndshill also moved to reassure staff at the Clinton Cards store that no redundancies will be made for the foreseeable future.

A spokesman for the centre said: “As far as we know, Clintons is still trading as usual.

“We have a few new lettings opening in the centre and things are really positive with our new centre manager.

“New tenants are setting up such as Millie’s Cookies and there’s more to come.

“At the moment, Houndshill is busy and vibrant, and it’s very positive.”

Administrators Zolfo Cooper, who are managing a £35m debt, have previously closed down 43 of the 330 stores not included in the deal, leading to 408 redundancies.

They are now looking for more buyers to come forward and cement the position of the remaining stores.