Clinton Cards has reported recent trading continued to be challenging resulting in group like-for-likes for the 40 weeks to May 8 down 3%, slightly lower than the 2.7% achieved in its first half.

Clintons reported like-for-likes slipped 3.4% in the 40 weeks to May 8.

The card retailer, which also owns the Birthdays fascia, said given the retail trading environment it continues to work hard to ensure its cost base is appropriate for the current sales level.

Clintons opened four redesigned stores in the past two weeks, featuring new layout, display fixtures, colour schemes and directional signage (pictured). It said early signs are encouraging.

It will also launch its new website on Monday May 16. It will offer cards and gifts and customers have the ability to personalise them. Most of the designs are exclusive to Clintons and offer full online personalisation with text or text and photo upload.

Clintons will also launch a smart phone application for personalisation in the next few weeks.

It is also developing an in-store web based kiost service enabling customers to order online from its stores or to personalise cards and print them in store. It expects to launch in autumn.

Clintons said the instore and online initiatives will be underpinned by the launch of a new loyalty card offering rewards and discounts in autumn.