THREE card shops in Huntingdonshire seem to have escape a cull by administrators.

Clinton Cards, which operates 628 Clintons and 139 Birthdays shops, brought in administrators after American Greetings bought the card retailer's £35million of loans from Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

But the company's shops in Huntingdon, St Ives and St Neots were not included among 44 stores that the administrators said today (Wednesday) would close by the end of May.

Joint administrators Peter Saville, Simon Freakley and Anne O'Keefe, partners at corporate advisory and restructuring specialists Zolfo Cooper, added: "Further store closures across the remaining Birthdays estate and certain Clinton Cards traded stores are expected in the forthcoming weeks, although this remains subject to a number of ongoing discussions with landlords and interested parties."

Mr Saville added: "We have received expressions of interest from a number of third parties and are confident that the remaining retail estate will be better placed going forward."

The chain was founded in 1968 by Don Lewin who opened the first shop in Epping, Essex.