In a Clintons store

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Clinton's

Clinton's greeting card contemplates the closure of stores and rental reductions as part of a survival plan.

The retailer, which has around 2,500 employees, is in a restructuring phase with the landlords in another sign of the high-street crisis.

A spokeswoman told the BBC that no decisions had yet been made.

Clintons responded on Sunday to reports that 66 out of 332 stores were closed, with most other stores cut back by landlords.

The restructuring would involve a controversial system known as the Company Volunteer Arrangement (CVA). This is a bankruptcy process that allows companies to continue trading while enforcing closures and rental reductions.

A Clinton spokeswoman said, "talks with our landlords are ongoing, but no decisions have been made."

However, she refused to comment on a Sunday Telegraph report that the company announced to landlords that 90% of its business was losing money and sales were expected to continue to decline.

Possible sale

A landlord told the BBC that although a meeting with Clinton had taken place last week, only very few details of the restructuring plan were announced. Further talks are expected this week.

The Sunday Times said landlords have time to raise their objections to a CVA by December 20. Landlords, however, have taken an increasingly hardening stance on the increasing use of CVAs and are more willing to tackle demands for rent reductions.

Founded in 1968, the retailer belongs to the Weiss family, which previously controlled US retailer Greetings in the US.

Clintons, formerly known as Clinton Cards, had hired consultants from consulting firm KPMG to investigate a potential sale. However, it is assumed that no acceptable offers have been received.

The news of the Clintons restructuring comes days after baby-care retailer Mothercare announces that its operations in the UK are operational and 2,500 jobs are at risk.

Mothercare is part of a long list of high street names, including Maplin and Poundworld. Others, including Homebase, Debenhams and Carpetright, were forced to restructure.

A number of restaurant chains have also closed as consumer spending comes under pressure.

However, retailers expect more pain as companies approach the Christmas business period. It is common for banks to wait until they have a clearer picture of the Christmas and New Year sales before they pull the plug from the retailers.