It's your birthday? Count on UK friends to run to Birthdays Retail! The company operates about 175 stores (down from 400-plus under better economic times) in the UK and Ireland. Offerings include greeting cards and party supplies for birthdays and weddings. Founded in 1966 as Ron Wood Greeting Cards, the company distributed cards and gift wrap. It opened three card shops in the mid-1970s and expanded the birthday concept in 1986. Birthdays was taken over by rival Clinton Cards in 2004 but operated as a separate subsidiary. Amid economic turmoil and declining sales, Birthdays collapsed into administration (the US equivalent of bankruptcy) in 2009. Reacquired by Clinton, it has struggled to regain profitability.