Greeting cards and gift specialist group Clinton Cards has today posted a three per cent decline in like-for-like sales for its year-to-date.
During the 40 weeks to May 8th 2011 trading at its Clintons stores fell 3.4 per cent year-on-year whilst its Birthday facias reported flat sales for the same period.
In the first half of the year, ending January 30th, total sales dropped by 2.7 per cent and the retailer has admitted that trading has got tougher since the start of the 2011.
A statement from Clinton Cards said: “Trading in the 14 weeks to 8th May 2011 continued to be a challenge.
“Given this retail trading environment we continue to work hard to ensure our cost base is appropriate for the current sales level.”
The retailer predicted single digit sales declines for the second-half period when it reported on trading in March, having discarded its Birthday stores based in the Republic of Ireland earlier in the month.
Clinton Cards is now trying to introduce a number new initiatives and store improvements in order to turn trading around, including a new smartphone app, a loyalty card which will appear this autumn and an in-store web-based kiosk allowing customers to design their own cards.
The statement continued: “The work we initiated last year with branding and store design specialists has come to fruition with the launch in the past two weeks of four redesigned stores.
“They feature a new layout, display fixtures, colour scheme and directional signage. Early signs are encouraging and we look forward to reporting on their progress later in the year.
“Additionally, we can confirm that our new website will be launching on Monday May 16th. It includes a facility for customers to order from a comprehensive range of cards and gifts online and fully personalise them.”