Clinton Cards is launching a range of luxury chocolate bars

The company narrowly escaped going into administration in 2011

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The Independent Online

Struggling stationary chain Clinton Cards is launching its own brand of high-end chocolate in a bid to capitalise on shoppers’ growing appetite for confectionery amid a slump in demand for greetings cards.

The company, which narrowly escaped going into administration in 2011, on Monday announced that it will start selling its own luxury confectionery brand, called Cocoa Paradise, in all of its 400 plus stores across the UK.

Bars will come in 12 varieties of dark, milk and white chocolate, and will cost £1.99 when bought in combination with a card and £3 when purchased individually.

The group said that the thriving chocolate industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of close to 5 per cent until 2020 and that they aim to capitalise on this surge. Clintons already stocks an array of boxed chocolate, including Ferrero Rocher, Lindt and Thorntons.

Clintons, founded in 1968, has been owned by American Greetings since 2011, but despite avoiding bankruptcy back then, it has continued to face significant headwinds.

In February, the Telegraph reported that the group is considering shutting scores of shops, raising fears that jobs could be cut too.

The paper reported that the chain’s US owner could shut around 120 shops, in response to pressure from lower-budget rival Card Factory and upmarket peer Paperchase.