Clinton Cards has reported that group like-for-like (LFL) sales dropped three per cent in the 16 weeks to November 21st, but the retailer remains confident it is well prepared for the busy Christmas period.
LFL sales at its Clinton Cards department dropped 3.3 per cent, while its separate Birthdays UK channel reported a 0.7 per cent increase.
Perhaps reflecting wider economic problems in the country, Birthday sales in Republic of Ireland were 14 per cent down on last year.
Net debt as of November 22nd was £37.7 million, which was a reduction of £10.4 million on the same date in 2009.
A statement from Clinton Cards said: “Our new store design is progressing well and we are preparing to test the concept in five stores after Christmas.
“The group is well prepared for the important Christmas trading period and look forward to reporting our performance in January.”
Since the beginning of the current financial period in August the retailer has closed four and relocated three of its Clinton Cards stores, resulting in a total of 650 outlets.
Its Birthdays operation has seen four closures and one relocation during that time, meaning there are now 172 of these shops across the UK and Ireland.
Earlier this month it was announced that Clintons will be trialling contactless payment technology in a number of its stores in the coming weeks.
Although the service will speed transactions up in general, it is hoped that its implementation will be particularly beneficial with the busy Christmas season on the horizon.