Clintons’ trading update signals “satisfaction” with progress

AG Retail, the official name for Clintons’ UK retail business, has issued a bullish trading statement to help counter the retailer’s disappointing financial results for the year 2016.

The Times newspaper was among the first to share the news that Clintons’ 2016 financial results showed a loss of £19 million, up from a £9 million loss the year previous, on a £200 million turnover (down from £206 million the year before).

The increase in losses are being attributed to the fall in the value of sterling, but because American Greetings is the owner of Clintons and is its major trading partner, it is difficult to work out the true significance of these results. Much of the losses could be holding company AG’s gain and could be a result of inter-company transactions.

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Clintons’ says that it is “satisfied” with the progress being made in its stores.

Commenting on the 2016/2017 period, Clintons’ VP marketing and commerce, Tim Fairs said: “Within a difficult trading environment, we are satisfied with the progress being made as part of our on going transformation strategy.”

He said that Clintons’ performance exceeded other high street retailers, gratified that it was “able to offset high street traffic declines during the back half of the year, caused by uncertainty post-Brexit affecting consumer confidence and traffic.”

He confirmed that although sales had dipped very slightly (down 1%) the increase value of the ‘customer basket’ was taking things in the right direction, revealing that improvements in its gift offer and “more effective merchandising techniques” have helped to deliver “a mid-single digit increase” in its gifting business.

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Clintons has ramped up its gifting offer and display ideas which has resulted in an increase in its gifting sales.

Clintons’ anewed consumer PR campaign has continued to raise awareness of the retailer as well as the category as a whole. “Our research continues to tell us that customers are enjoying our market leading range, superior quality and best in sector service,” added Tim.

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