Clintons is considering closing 38 stores – approximately one-fifth of its store estate – to avoid insolvency, The Times has reported.

Exterior of Clintons store

The card retailer is looking to close 38 of its 179 stores as it faces “acute financial distress” and turns to restructuring advisers to swap debt for equity.

In documents seen by The Times, the retailer said: “It is common knowledge that the UK high street retail sector has been in decline for a number of years.

“Many retailers have entered into insolvency processes or otherwise have had to greatly reduce the scales of their operations.

“The Clintons business has not been invulnerable to such economic conditions.  

“The plan company will soon no longer be able to fund its day-to-day operations nor discharge its debts and liabilities as and when they fall due … As such, the plan company is in a state of acute financial distress.” 

The move comes after the retailer shut 156 stores after being sold back to its owner and made a failed attempt to merge with the now-collapsed stationery chain Paperchase in December 2022. 

The card retailer was in talks with Paperchase as it aimed to “benefit from economies of scale” and return to profitability with a merger.

The talks remained unsuccessful as Paperchase fell into administration and shut all stores, resulting in the loss of 900 jobs.