Another key store in Eastleigh’s embattled shopping centre is facing possible closure with the news that greetings card shop Clinton Cards will be forced it into administration later today having already suspended trading in its shares.
Clinton is the UK’s biggest card retailer and employs more than 8,000 staff.
It is understood that administrators will continue to run the stores while seeking a buyer, but large number of stores could be closed.
Recently both Game and Peacocks also went into administration eventually finding buyers but despite store closures in Winchester and Southampton their Eastleigh stores were able to remain open and trading.
Workers at Clinton’s Swan Centre branch will hope they too can ‘dodge the bullet’ – although this was a fate that workers at nearby Priceless shoes were unable to avoid earlier this year.
Clinton has suffered poor trading recently and is finally collapsing under the weigh t of its own £35 million debt mountain.
Competition from supermarkets and internet retailers like Funky Pigeon, Moonpig and Hello Turtle have hit the chain hard while rising postage costs have contributed to a general decline in greeting card usage.
In Eastleigh’s Swan Centre Clintons is in direct competition with rival card store The Card Factory which designs and manufactures its own cards considerably undercutting Clinton.
There has been a decline in card shops in the town centre since Card Factory started trading and they recently relocated to the empty Adams unit (themselves an early casualty of the recession) which is directly opposite their ailing competitor.
This may yet prove a factor which will determine whether Clinton will be able to continue trading in Eastleigh.