Clintons eyes premium positioning

Clinton Cards is planning to reposition itself as an upmarket, premium gift and card retailer following its acquisition by American Greetings.


It aims to emulate the success of US greetings card chain Papyrus, which sells an upmarket range of cards and gifts in “stylish” stores and is also operated by its new owner.

Tim Fairs, Clintons marketing and ecommerce director, told Marketing Week that the chain’s marketing priority is to modernise the brand’s look and feel and communicate what it stands for to consumers to address the disconnect between what the brand had previously promised and what it actually delivered.

He says: “Clintons will be very different from what you see on the high street now. We need a bold change to make a symbolic change for what Clintons will stand for in the future. The product range and stores will be improved and we’ll make Clintons more upmarket and target a higher demographic rather than a value proposition.”


The group may also trial a number of stores in prime locations under the US group’s Papyrus brand, but Fairs adds that it’s very unlikely that the Clintons brand will disappear from the UK high street.

Fairs adds: “Clintons didn’t evolve with the times, modernise or keep up with the competition on the high street. Now, we will move quickly because the business is in a fragile state. We need to make a radical and significant improvement to the offer and get it communicated out quickly so that we’re in a good position in time for Christmas trading.”

The retailer is likely to launch a marketing push towards the end of the year as it prepares for the Christmas trading period, but it’s new owners are likely to want to see a period of like-for-like growth before investing in external marketing or advertising.

The chain was bought by its supplier American Greetings earlier this months after the chain was forced into administration. It now operates a chain of 400 retail stores, slimmed down from the 750-strong estate the former family-run chain operated.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here