Future of shopping centre units positive

The empty units in Springfield Court, Swan Walk Shopping Centre
The empty units in Springfield Court, Swan Walk Shopping Centre

WHILE the jobs of 15 Horsham employees at Clinton Cards Ltd shops are under threat this week, Sports Direct is expected to take ownership of their units in the town’s shopping centre soon.

Clinton Cards went into administration last week and the company is still seeking a buyer meaning nine people at the Clinton’s shop and six people at the Birthday store - both in Swan Walk Shopping Centre - could lose their jobs.

Peter Saville, joint administrator and partner at Zolfo Cooper, the company handling the company’s affairs said: “Our first priority is to stabilise the business and assess its financial position.

“We will continue to trade the business whilst we undertake a full marketing exercise to find buyers for all or parts of the Group so that the best possible outcome can be achieved for stakeholders.

“It is likely that a number of stores will need to be closed in order to make the business financially viable.

“However, Clinton Cards and Birthdays are very well-known brands on the high street and we believe that there is a strong underlying core business.

“We are therefore confident that it is an attractive proposition for a range of potential buyers and welcome expressions of interest from third parties.”

There have been several casualties in the shopping centre recently, including Hawkin’s Bazaar and Barratts, but centre manager Gill Buchanan said the units promised to house Sports Direct will soon be filled.

“The enabling works to create the new store for Sports Direct are currently underway,” she said.

“The retailer will take possession soon and commence their own shopfit but we have not yet been given an exact opening date.”

It is also positive news for other empty units.

She continued: “As your readers will be aware Hawkin’s Bazaar and Barratts remain in administration but we are pleased with the level of retailer interest in other available units.”