Birthdays card retailer put on the market

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 | DIVISION SALE

The struggling greetings card retailer, Birthdays, has been put on the market by its owner Clinton Cards in an effort to return to profit.

Ernst & Young has been brought in to manage the sale process of the 141-store Birthdays chain, as part of Clinton’s new chief executive’s aim to improve the group’s performance, The Independent reported. The group had made losses of £10.66 million for the year ending 31 July 2011.

Clinton’s has been working to shrink the Birthdays chain over the past few years. In 2009 it bought back 196 Birthday’s shops out of administration, and also put the chain through a liquidation process in the Republic of Ireland in 2011.

Clinton’s new chief executive is Darcy Willson-Rymer, the former UK managing director of coffee giant Starbucks. He kicked off with a strategic review shortly after starting at his new post.

The review of the business is due to be finished in late April, a spokesman for Clinton’s told The Independent. “This is critical for the successful turnaround of the business and by necessity looks at every part of the group, including both Clintons and Birthdays,” he added.

Birthdays’ accounts showed a loss of £8.6m for 2010-2011. Recent figures revealed that like-for-like sales fell by 2.7 per cent during the five weeks to 1 January 2012. In comparison, Clinton's sales increased by 0.8 per cent for the same period.

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