THE jobs of hundreds of people working for Clinton Cards and Birthdays locally are under threat after the chain was forced into administration yesterday afternoon.
The firm, which has outlets in Portsmouth, Fareham, Cosham, Havant, Chichester and Petersfield, was placed into administration by its biggest supplier, American Greetings.
The US firm bought the £35m debt Clinton Cards owed to Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland – a loan the card firm cannot pay back.
It is expected that no shops will close immediately, but if American Greetings buy the firm out of administration with no debt, outlets could then close in a restructure.
One member of staff working at one of the outlets in Portsmouth, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It’s really scary, we don’t really know what’s going to happen to our jobs.’
Staff working for Clinton Cards and Birthdays do not have union representation.
Administrators at Zolfo Cooper said the group had made losses of £130m since 2004, and it was likely shops will close.