GREETINGS card chain Clintons has been sold back to its existing owner in a rescue deal that safeguards 2,500 jobs.

The move will see the high street stalwart's 334 stores saved, and they will continue to trade as normal, administrator KPMG announced today.

Clintons, which has been on the high street since 1968, has been taken on by Esquire Retail Limited.

It follows speculation over the firm's future with it announcing only last month that it urgently needed to close 66 of its sites to avoid collapse.

The chain also wanted landlords to slash rent prices on remaining shops, moving 206 shops to a model where rent payments are linked to the store's performance.

This would mean Clintons would only pay full rent on 60 remaining shops.

But a plan to put the company into a company voluntary agreement (CVA) could not be agreed on.

Eddie Shepherd, chief executive of Clintons, said: “We are pleased to have been able to secure the future of the Clintons business, protecting all of our talented 2,500-strong workforce and ensuring continuation of trade across all of our UK store network at what is a crucial time of the year for the business.

“Like so many of our fellow high street retailers, we have worked tirelessly to contend with the maelstrom of issues impacting the sector, from business rates pressures, to fragile consumer confidence and the lack of clarity around the taxation of online retail businesses."

More to follow…

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