Greetings card retailer Clintons has made a profit in its first year under new owner American Greetings, which bought it out of administration last year.
Clintons’ chief executive Dominique Schurman said the company is performing better than American Greetings expected.
American Greetings, which was one of Clinton’s suppliers, bought the retailer out of adminstration after buying up its debt a year ago.
Schurman said a rollout of the new red store design, which replaced its iconic orange signage, and a greater emphasis on non-card gifts has paid off.
She said sales at the new-look stores had increased by between 10% to 15%, according to The Times.
Clintons has also reduced its focus on soft toys and brought in a wider range of gifts. Schurman said one of Clintons’ failings was that, for example, a customer seeking a gift for Mother’s Day would be faced with six bears with sentimental messages.
Schurman said: “We have introduced new segments that the business never offered before, to further enhance the selections – not only cards, wrap and paper, but in gifting.
“Now you might buy a beautiful mug, a journal, a box of writing paper – things you would want to give your mum for Mother’s Day other than a teddy bear that says ‘Mum’.”
Schurman also said Clintons had been hit by personalised websites and lower prices at supermarkets.
She said: “There was very little normal business practice when we started. The first priority was to stabilise the business, put forth a new strategy, create a vision for the company and the brand.”
She added Clintons will develop an online personalisation service.