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


Mothercare is set to close 50 stores, putting 800 jobs at risk. Former Tesco executive David Wood who had taken on the chief executive role and is just over a month into the job, will become group managing director.

No official confirmation of this list has been forthcoming from Mothercare, who said: "We can't comment on individual store closures until all staff have been informed, which is our absolute priority".

The struggling store chain said the refinancing and restructuring of the United Kingdom store portfolio through company voluntary arrangements of certain subsidiaries will allow the business to return to a more stable footing and accelerate the transformation towards a viable and sustainable future.

The company's 2017 annual report showed that it employed more than 5,000 people, a lot of them in Britain.

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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.

‎"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".

Shares leapt by as much as 31% after the announcement.

As part of its restructuring, Mothercare has also arranged a refinancing package worth up to £113.5m, which includes £28m raised through issuing new shares, and an extension of its existing debt arrangements.

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He was given the boot by then-chairman Alan Parker, who has himself since stepped down.

Efforts to bring down its 137-strong United Kingdom store estate to around 87 stores and secure rent reductions on a further 21 sites will be pursued through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), a type of insolvency process which helps firms that are under fire to survive by curtailing their costs.

In the United Kingdom, losses swelled from £9.7 million to £79.4 million.

Mothercare, which also trades from 1,131 stores overseas, said results for the year to March 24 would be published later on Thursday and would show a performance in line with previous guidance.

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