Friday, 26 June 2009

Unhappy Birthdays

Unhappy Birthdays for 650 staff as card shops fold

“We got told last Wednesday that we were closing. They are keeping us open to Sunday because that’s Fathers Day but when we close the doors then that’s it.”

"Administrator Peter Saville, partner at Zolfo Cooper Europe, announced that 201 Birthdays branches had been saved. But sadly, the Graham Street branch didn’t make the cut.

Mr Saville said: “We are pleased to announce that an offer has been accepted and are hopeful that the contract will be finalised in a matter of days. No purchaser has been forthcoming for the remaining stores or the head office at Bury and we will be implementing a closure programme with immediate effect, with all stores scheduled to cease trading by close of business on Wednesday, June 24"

“Regrettably around 800 jobs will be made redundant across the group.

“All employees have been made aware of the situation and we are grateful for the understanding and support of staff, customers and suppliers throughout the administration process.

“We will also be writing to all landlords shortly to inform them fully of the situation.”

Source: Lanarkshire Airdie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Former owner Clintons buys back 196 stores of stricken card chain out of administration in £3.5m deal but a third of jobs will go.

"About 650 jobs have been lost after the administrators running the stricken Birthdays card chain sold part of it back to its former owner Clintons Cards.

Clintons has bought back 196 of Birthdays' 322 shops, saving 1,450 jobs. The remaining stores, which are all understood to be loss-making, are now closing or have already been shuttered.

It comes just a month after Clintons put the loss-making Birthdays into administration, saying it could no longer support the subsidiary, which it bought in December 2004 for £46m. The deal is valued at £3.5m, but Clintons is only paying £250,000, and agreeing to write off £3.25m still owed by Birthdays.

One retail analyst said today's deal "looked a bit like financial engineering", adding that Clintons had blundered by buying Birthdays in the first place.

Shares in Clintons jumped by 15% to 25.4p today".

Source: The Guardian

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