Deathwatch: Clinton Cards tries to save itself by copying the awful Funky Pigeon

12 May 2011


Clinton Cards has been ailing for a while, but now, thanks to continuing poor sales, it looks like it could be on its last legs.

Sales have worsened, despite being pretty poor for a while and the high street retailer is starting to really struggle.

On Thursday, the company said that recent trading “continued to be a challenge” and had dragged down like-for-like sales by 3 per cent for the 40 weeks to May 8th, report the FT.

Clinton has previously blamed the collapse of its Irish business on top of “low consumer confidence and weak footfall” which has set alarm bells off. “Given this retail trading environment we continue to work hard to ensure our cost base is appropriate for the current sales level,” said Clinton.

One of the main competitors are the supermarkets who are taking all their business. So what are they going to do while they attempt to stay afloat?

They're going to copy online card vendors and advertising irritants, Funky Pigeon and Moonpig.

That's right! After years of Moonpig trading, Clinton have slovenly responded by setting up their own card personalisation website, which is set to launch on May 16th. They will also set up a smartphone application which will enable people to create their own cards with their phones... which certainly seems to be a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Clinton Cards are also trialling a redesign of stores, which will enable customers to use "an in-store web based kiosk" so we can "order online from our stores or to personalise cards and print them in-store". Or, do all the hard work so Clinton don't have to.

The company might need to start stocking up on bereavement cards...

TOPICS:   High Street News   Economy


  • Grassy T.
    £3.95 for a peice of printed fucking card that customers are forced to buy several times a year through social convenction. How can this business model fail?
  • Dick
    The best thing they could do in the redesign is to weld the doors shut.
  • JD64
    Agree with Grassy. Selling cards that cost literally pennies to make for pounds. Stock that never goes off or really out of fashion. Product purchased by the same customers several times a year again and again whilst stores are staffed with a minimum number of employees. How could they be in trouble?!
  • callum
    I never really understood how shops survived primarily by selling cards. In response to those questioning how they are failing, yes the business model is good - but it relies on customers sharing that view. The vast majority of people don't, so they don't get many sales.
  • Bagpuss
    The shopping centre near me has 2 Clinton Cards shops in it. Both selling the same range, etc. There are only these 2 card shops in the mall and a WHSmiths, so they are pretty much competing with themselves, plus paying 2 sets of rent/salaries/etc. Someone, somewhere high up in that business needs to be taught the basics of business management.
  • David B.
    wow you guys are sad and bitter :-P "cards that cost literally pennies to make for pounds" well *duh* that's every product known to man. CDs cost a pound to make and sell for £12. Perhaps they should be taken to court for trying to make a profit. :-P At least they ain't manufacturing arms and dropping bombs on people, and making a profit for it. Remember they are propagating love, not bitterness. Perhaps they should open up a section that caters for your own mentality: Bitter, bemoaning sad lonely gits section.
  • Sarah L.
    CLINTON CARDS - Should be market leaders not followers. They are not Market Leaders as the current Management are incompetent and are all about STYLE without any SUBSTANCE. This is the same management that thought Moonpig and Funky Pigeon would not affect them! They also think they know better on how to deal with employees - they PAID out £100K after a court found them guilty of Disability Discrimination to a Cancer sufferer who when she came back to work was told "Your only giving us 50% leave or we start disciplinary action"!! Their Human Resources obviously working TOO close to their Operational Management to let this happen. David is right the business model is well set up - it is unfortunate that this has not moved on and evolved since the business started!!
  • Nick
    Run the same way by the same people for decades. Need for change is essential. A single family cannot possibly have all the skill sets needed for a company this size. Guess what as well, they just realised it might be a good idea to offer cards personalised online. Where have they been all this time for God's sake! Should have been doing it years ago. Basket case set up I'm afraid
  • Mr O.
    It's absolutely shocking that people nowadays actually rely on a piece of crappy card to wish someone a happy birthday. Whatever happened to saying "happy birthday"? It's free and it's alot more social and less wasteful of money! Considering cards cost about £3 and then get trashed a well later, I consider it to be a waste of money.

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