A GREETINGS card retailer, which has three stores across Welwyn Hatfield, has been placed in administration today (Wednesday).

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Clinton Cards, which has branches in the Howard Centre, WGC, Hatfield town centre and the Galleria, also in Hatfield, has become the latest high street chain to fall victim to the difficult trading environment.

The company, which also owns the Birthdays stores, currently operates 767 shops across the country.

But that is almost certain to change, after the firm was unable to pay back £35m worth of loans to its largest supplier.

Earlier today, Clinton announced that two of its banks, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland, had sold its loan facilities to supplier American Greetings.

In a statement by the Clinton board, the firm had expected the supplier to extend a waiver of technical breaches of the loan agreement.

Instead, American Greetings enforced the loan against Clinton.

“Having secured control of the debt, American Greetings immediately informed the Board that it intended to enforce the loan against the Company and the Board has concluded that because it is unable to repay the loan it has no option but to concur with American Greetings proposal to place the Company and its subsidiaries into administration,” the statement said.

The statement also said that Clinton had recently completed a strategic review of it’s business, and had planned to “review its business plans and strategy with its stakeholders and exploring ways to produce a better outcome for the Company’s stakeholders as a whole.”

The WHT has contacted Clinton Cards about the future of the three Welwyn Hatfield stores.

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