Greeting cards retailer Clinton Cards has embarked on its biggest ever portfolio and branding review that could result in a “complete change” in the look and feel of its stores.
The retailer has been conducting research in recent weeks, asking customers, staff and suppliers for feedback on Clinton Cards shops.
Group commercial director Barry Hartog said: “We are accused of being stuck in the past. I suspect the research will lead to a redesign and upgrading of the stores. I suspect it will be a complete change, but we will make sure any changes fit the branding. “
Hartog is also looking at the Clinton Cards logo. “There are no sacred cows,” he said, adding if successful, any new format would be rolled out to all stores.
It is the first time the group has undertaken such a wide reaching review. “Hopefully it will underpin our future growth, and make the stores more relevant,” Hartog said.
He expects the review to conclude towards the end of the year.
Clinton Cards last week reported a surge in group pre-tax profit, up 28.8% to £19.6m in the 26 weeks ended January 31.
Revenue for the Clinton Cards brand increased 2.1% to £191.1m, from 20 fewer stores, while like-for-likes increased 3%. Operating profit rose 19% to £21.2m.
Its Birthdays chain, which it placed into administration last year, before buying back 196 stores, made an adjusted operating profit of £1.1m. There is no comparable figure from the previous year. The chain notched up £35m in sales from 186 stores including 24 Pure Party stores.
Hartog said the retailer’s tight control of costs enabled it to grow profits in the period, including energy bills, recycling in stores and rent reviews.
The retailer will launch its personalised online offering towards the end of the year. Other retailers such as Moonpig currently dominate this category.
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