THE future of Bournemouth’s Clintons Cards is in doubt after its shop unit was put on the market.

The store has said more than once that there were no plans to close the branch at Old Christchurch Road.

However, the premises are on the market through two agencies.

It is understood the shop is remaining on the site while the lease is marketed.

In recent times, Clintons has been seeking to renegotiate the rents on many of its stores, while closing unprofitable branches.

Both Goadsby and Willis Commercial list 55 Old Christchurch Road on their websites, for a rent of £75,000 a year.

A brochure for the site says there are 1,153sqft of retail area at the premises. With a rateable value of £66,000, business rates would come to another £32,538.

“This mid-terrace retail property is located over five floors,” the brochure says.

“The main ground floor sales area is open plan with a trapdoor providing access to a basement.”

The Daily Echo has spoken to one business which looked at the property but decided it was too expensive.

Town centre traders have been concerned about the large numbers of empty shops on Old Christchurch Road, although in recent times several have been filled.

Goadsby’s website alone lists the Thomas Cook store at 62 Old Christchurch Road; the former Apple reseller at number 84; units at 75-77 and 79; and a shop next to Greggs at number 58.

Earlier this year, Clintons announced a pre-tax loss of £14.2million – down from a loss of £19.4m the year before. It was in administration seven years ago.

Like many retailers, it has been talking to landlords in a bid to reduce its rents, and has renegotiated around 160 leases in the past two years.

It said it was making progress on shutting unprofitable stores, cutting costs and improving profit margins. It has around 350 stores after closing 20 in its previous financial year.