Page last updated at 07:28 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Tough trading hits Clinton Cards

Clinton Cards store
Clinton has a major presence on the UK High Street

Clinton Cards has reported a sharp fall in sales, blaming the "harsh economic conditions" on the High Street.

The retailer said group like-for-like sales - which strips out the impact of store openings and closures - fell 6% in the 16 weeks to 16 November.

Sales were down 7.1% at its Clinton branded stores, and 2.5% lower at the company's Birthdays outlets.

Clinton said trading remained "very challenging" ahead of the key Christmas trading period.

The firm has opened 12 new stores since August, but closed 21.

It now has 1,042 outlets across the UK, comprising 697 Clinton stores and 345 Birthdays shops.

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