Like-for-like sales fall at Clinton Cards
Clinton Cards has reported that its like-for-like sales fell 2.4% in the 16 weeks to 20 November. This compares with a fall of 1.5% in the first 12 weeks of its financial year.
Since 1 August, the struggling card and gift retailer opened two new stores, relocated a further two and closed ten taking the total number of stores to 633. Clintons’ Birthdays chain disposed of 14 stores which leaves 142 stores trading.
The retailer said it had recently renewed its £55 million borrowing facilities. Peak borrowings this year were £42.7 million, £10.4 million lower than last year's peak level, reflecting the on-going progress of cash management and controls.
In its trading update the company said: "Flattening the peaks of cyclical working capital requirements will facilitate the group's ambition to invest in its store portfolio."
It continued: "During the last month we took the decision to convert seasonal Halloween stock to cash through a price led promotion strategy which was successful albeit at a reduced margin.
"We will explore further opportunities to replicate this approach in the post Christmas sales period to minimise seasonal carry forward stock levels."
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