Clinton Cards is set to bolster its stable of advisors with the appointment of KPMG after being forced to shelve the sell-off of its Birthdays chain.

The greetings card retailer, whose chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer is conducting a strategic review of the business, hired Ernst & Young last month as advisors to manage the sale of beleaguered sister company Birthdays. At the same time it brought Rothschild on board to help with the strategic review.

However, it is thought discussions over the sale of Birthdays - which has not made a profit since it was acquired by Clintons for £50m in 2004 - have stalled, and that KPMG is on the verge of being hired to look at restructuring the business.

Sources told Retail Week options being considered include a controversial company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which would allow it to shed stores.

A Clintons spokesman said: “We are continuing to look at all options.”

KPMG declined to comment.

Willson-Rymer, who joined the retailer in October, is expected to reveal the results of the strategic review on April 27.  

In the 26 weeks to January 29 Clintons made a pretax loss of £3.7m compared to the previous year’s £11.7m profit as a result of “significantly weaker margins” due to stock clearance sales in January.

Adjusted operating profit plummeted from £14.4m to £743,00, while like-for-likes fell 1.1%, with Clintons down 1% and Birthdays down 2%.

Founder and non-executive chairman Don Lewin revealed last month he will step down from his role in July.