Clinton Cards to axe 2,800 jobs in more UK jobs pain
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Peter Saville, joint-administrator Zolfo Cooper, said: "Given the sheer size of the Clinton Cards retail estate and the overall performance, we were left with no alternative to today's 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."
There have recently been reports that WHSmith, which bought the online personalised greetings card brand Funky Pigeon in 2010, is interested in buying up to 350 stores.
And Card Factory, Clinton's biggest competitor with 596 stores, is also thought to have approached administrators.
Clinton has suffered dire trading in recent months as it comes up against stiff competition from supermarkets and online retailers such as Funky Pigeon and Moonpig.
It recorded a pre-tax loss of £3.7 million in the 26 weeks to January 29, compared with a profit of £11.7 million in the previous year, and warned that the second half of the year would be below expectations. Its shares had lost more than 80% of their value since the start of 2010.