Clinton Cards’ like-for-likes dropped 3% in the 40 weeks to May 8, slightly worse than the 2.7% drop recorded in its first half.

The retailer described trading conditions as challenging and said: “Given this retail trading environment we continue to work hard to ensure our cost base is appropriate for the current sales level.”

Like-for-likes at the Birthdays fascia were more robust, remaining flat in the 40-week period, while like-for-likes at the eponymous chain slid 3.4%.

The retailer said early signs from its new store design are “encouraging”.

Clinton was due to launch its new personalised cards and gifts website this week and a loyalty card in the autumn.

Numis analyst Andy Wade noted that like-for-like sales growth had slowed but said the new website and the store refurbishments are encouraging.

“Store refurbs do tend to result in an improved trading performance,” he said.