Six jobs secure as card shop closure stopped
STAFF at Clinton Cards were pulled back from the brink of losing their jobs last week when the business was bought-out of administration.
American Greetings completed the purchase of 397 UK stores on Thursday.
This leaves employees at the remaining 370 outlets uncertain of their future, but the six workers at the Dover store now know their jobs are secure.
One member of staff, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "They saved us. We were on the closure list.
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"We were told three weeks ago that we were closing – then yesterday we were safe."
Clintons' survival adds to an upturn in fortunes for Dover, according to David Foley, chief executive of Dover District Chamber of Commerce.
"To save the card shop is part of a trend in which we hope that Dover has turned the corner.
"I'm delighted. Retailers are a very important part of what the town has to offer.
"Given that the project for a major development on Western Heights has now passed the first stage, we can expect an increase in people coming to Dover," said Mr Foley.
He was also pleased to hear the six employees at the town's Clinton Cards branch will keep their jobs in the future.
Mr Foley said: "Saving their jobs is not only good news for staff.
"With the Olympic torch set to attract 2,000 people, it's part of a good news story which we hope will continue over the summer."
Clinton Cards went into administration last month following a sharp drop in sales over the past year.
At that point administrators, Zolfo Cooper, said it was "likely a number" of stores would close.
Yet the purchase by American Greetings has ensured more than half of Clintons' retail outlets will stay open.
The US-based company says that for more than 100 years it has helped "consumers in enhancing their relationships to create happiness, laughter and love".
Last month it bought Clintons' £35m debts and is thought not to have to pay a penny to seal the takeover.
Chief executive, Zev Weiss, said: "We believe that, properly managed, Clinton Cards can be both an important and profitable retailer in the speciality channel of distribution."
Administrators Zolfo Cooper thanked workers for their "dedication and patience" through what has been a difficult time for the business.