Birthdays (Ireland), a subsidiary of cards and gift retailer Clinton Cards has been placed into administration by its parent company, it was announced today.
A statement issued by Clinton Cards confirms that all of the 14 stores currently trading as Birthday’s in the Republic of Ireland are loss making.
None of the Clinton Cards stores and Birthday UK stores in the retail group are to be affected by the move, the statement added, and trading at these outlets will continue as normal.
Founded in 1968 the Clintons group now represents 650 Clinton branded shops and more than 170 Birthday branded outlets.
A fuller picture of the retailer’s current predicament will be revealed at half-year interim results set to be announced at the end of this month but its most recent trading update did not make for pretty reading.
Total group sales fell 2.8 per cent year-on-year during the 22-week period to January 2nd, leading to a profits warning, and Birthday (Ireland) was the worst effected segment with trade down 12.2 per cent.
UK retailers have been struggling in recent months but their pain has been minor compared to those based in Eire, where 39 per cent of sector companies believe sales will fall over the course of 2011.
Retail Ireland, the IBEC group that represents the retail sector, yesterday said that the 1.5 per cent drop in value of core retail sales in the country during January represented a worryingly weak start for the sector in 2011.
“Last year was the third year in a row in which the value of core retail sales fell and the cumulative decline is now over 20 per cent,” Retail Ireland Director Torlach Denihan explained.
“The sector needs urgent action from the incoming government. While prices have been cut to the bone, the cost of running a shop has not fallen.”