Mothercare to shut 50 stores with 800 jobs at risk

Mothercare said it had received the backing of creditors to press ahead with the company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

This will allow the chain to close loss-making shops and secure rental discounts.

Mothercare currently employs about 3,000 people across 137 outlets.

Mothercare to shut 50 stores with 800 jobs at risk
Mothercare to shut 50 stores with 800 jobs at risk

First reported by Sky News, the shake-up is aimed at restoring the fortunes of the chain.

The wide-ranging restructuring plan will also see Mothercare bag a refinancing package worth up to £113.5 million.

The changes will see Mark Newton-Jones return as chief executive just two months after he left the retailer.

David Wood, the man brought in to replace him, will become managing director.

Mothercare, which has been trading since 1961, said it was facing a “perilous financial condition” and had identified a large number of loss-making stores.

Undated handout filer photo issued by Mothercare of their chief executive Mark Newton-Jones, as the baby retailer warned over profits after UK sales plunged in the run-up to Christmas, with consumer spending falling in both stores and online.
Image:Mark Newton-Jones will return to Mothercare as chief executive

The plans came as the company reported a £72.8m pre-tax loss for the year to 24 March, compared to a £7.1m profit a year before – dragged into the red by costs such as restructuring, store closures and writedowns in the value of parts of the business.

Clive Whiley, Mothercare’s interim executive chairman, said: “We are very grateful for the support of our many stakeholders across our creditor base in supporting today’s CVA proposals.

“Their forbearance and support today is a crucial step forward to achieve the renewed and stable financial structure for the business that will drive an acceleration of Mothercare’s transformation.

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“These measures provide a solid platform from which to reposition the group and begin to focus on growth, both in the UK and internationally.”

Since January, Toys R Us and Maplin have filed for administration, while fashion retailers such as New Look have embarked on radical store closure programmes.

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