Retailer Clinton Cards has collapsed into administration, putting hundreds of Hampshire jobs at risk.

Administrators at Zolfo Cooper warned it was likely that ''a number of stores'' will need to be closed to make the business viable.

Clinton, which has 25 stores in Hampshire including in Southampton, Eastleigh and Winchester, has been fighting for survival after failing to find a buyer for the company, or parts of the group.

The retailer, which operates 628 Clinton and 139 Birthdays stores, earlier said it had requested that its shares be suspended on the London Stock Exchange.

The move came after its banks – Barclays and taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland – sold the company’s £35m of loans to its biggest supplier, American Greetings.

But whereas the banks waived certain loan conditions, American Greetings told Clinton it would enforce the loans and push the company into administration.

Zolfo Cooper said the group had made losses of £130 million since 2004 and it was ''likely that a number of stores would need to be closed to make the business financially viable''.

The administrators added: “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.”

The collapse of the firm jeopardises more than 8,000 jobs.

Clinton Cards reported a loss of £3.6m in the six months to January 29 after making a profit of £11.7m for the same period a year ago.