Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Mothercare closing 50 stores with up to 800 jobs lost

Mothercare has announced 50 store closures GETTYMothercare has announced 50 store closures and 800 job losses
Preston Stone | 17 May, 2018, 17:34

Under the store estate restructuring plan, the company plans to close 50 stores and seek rent reductions on a further 21 stores.

Mark Newton-Jones was sacked by the then chairman Alan Parker - who has himself subsequently stepped down.

Mothercare has 13 stores in the region: Manchester Fort, Crown Point Denton - which has already lost its M&S Outlet this year - Stockport, Macclesfield, Altrincham, Warrington, Blackburn, Prescot, Preston, Aintree Racecourse Retail Park, Bromborough, Chester and Llandudno.

The man that had been brought in to replace him, David Wood, will now become managing director. The potential for the Mothercare brand in the United Kingdom, benefitting from a restructured store estate, and internationally remains significant.

It is being reported that up to 800 jobs are at risk nationwide.

The firm now trades from 137 United Kingdom stores, having had almost 400 a decade ago.

The sub-£50mln company now has 137 stores up-and-down the United Kingdom but wants to have a portfolio of just 73 by 2022.

The first Mothercare in 1977
GETTYIraqi-born British entrepreneur Selim Zilkha founder of Mothercare UK 3rd November 1977

Mothercare will re-hire its former boss in a shocking U-turn as the company plans to shutter 50 stores.

"Retailers considering a CVA should also be aware that it is not always possible to save the business from entering into administration and total closure, as happened in the case of Toys R Us".

Shares in Mothercare were up 4.8 pence at 26.6 pence at 0832 GMT, valuing the business at 46 million pounds.

Creditor meetings to vote on the CVA proposals are expected to be held on June 1, with the process expected to complete in July.

In a statement, Mothercare said: "Recent financial performance, impacted in particular by a large number of legacy loss making stores within the United Kingdom estate, has resulted in a perilous financial condition for the group".

The company also has secured maturity extension to its committed debt facilities of GBP67.5 million and GBP8 million in new loans from some large shareholders. The equity issue is conditional on the CVA going through.

Like many shops on the high street, Mothercare has struggled to adapt to changing consumer habits, while sales have also suffered as cash-strapped shoppers have tightened their purse strings.

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