Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Jobs under threat as Mothercare set to close stores across the UK

Mothercare Mothercare puts 800 jobs at risk with store closure plans as it reinstates ousted boss
Orlando Vargas | 17 May, 2018, 17:32

Uncertainty hangs over the future of Kent staff at Mothercare after the troubled retailer announced plans to close 50 stores as it tries to restructure its debts.

Over the past four years Mothercare has closed dozens of stores, taking its total from 200 outlets to 137 last year.

Carpetright has entered into a CVA and announced store closures, as has fashion chain New Look.

The struggling retailer has also agreed a rent cut with landlords for 21 of its stores.

Clive Whiley, Mothercare's interim executive chairman, said: "The recent financial performance of the business, impacted in particular by a large number of legacy loss-making stores within the United Kingdom estate, has resulted in an unsustainable situation for the Mothercare brand, meaning the group was in clear need of an appropriate resolution".

"Commenting on today's refinancing and United Kingdom restructuring, Clive Whiley, the Company's Interim Executive Chairman, said in a statement: "‎The recent financial performance of the business, impacted in particular by a large number of legacy loss making stores within the United Kingdom estate, has resulted in an unsustainable situation for the Mothercare brand, meaning the Group was in clear need of an appropriate resolution.

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"Since my appointment as interim executive chairman, my priority has been to galvanise support from all of our stakeholders and provide a solution to the short-term problems facing the company".

The store estate restructuring is expected to result in a GBP10 million cash inflow and cost savings of GBP5 million.

Earlier this week it said it was "finalising a comprehensive restructuring and refinancing package to put the business on a stable and sustainable financial footing". "However, there remains much to do and we must maintain a disciplined focus".

Stores in Ashford and Sittingbourne have also shut in recent years.

The company also said it would reappoint the chief executive who left in April following poor Christmas trading and a profits warning. It will have just 78 by 2020, down to 72 two years after that. Poundworld has considered the option, but is now thought to prefer a trade sale.

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