Monday, 24 September, 2018


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

British high street stalwart Mothercare is to shit 50 of its stores across the UK in a radical restructuring plan to save the mother and baby products retailer Jobs under threat as Mothercare set to close stores across the UK
Conrad Doyle | 17 May, 2018, 15:05

The company has not announced which stores will close, but has confirmed 800 jobs throughout the United Kingdom will be affected.

The surprise move will form part of a bold restructuring plan that will see Mothercare shut 50 shops - more than one-third of its 137-strong United Kingdom portfolio ‎- within 12 months; announce an extension of its borrowing facilities with its lenders; tap shareholders for more than £35m in new equity; and secure backing from pension stakeholders for revised funding arrangements. It expects to have a total store portfolio of 78 by 2020, down from the current 137 stores.

The company is not yet saying which stores will close.

Mothercare said it would not confirm which stores are to close until after all staff have been informed.

"Of course we regret having to close stores and the impact this will have on colleagues".

Chairman Clive Whiley 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.

Sky News‎ has learnt that the struggling retailer will announce alongside its full-year results that Mark Newton-Jones is to rejoin it just 36 days after his unexpected exit.

The retail giant said on Monday that it had been working on a comprehensive restructuring and refinancing package. The company will disclose details of the restructuring plan along with full year earnings on Thursday a source said

Working capital from Mothercare's worldwide franchise partners will also be part of the package.

Interim executive chairman Clive Whiley said: "These measures provide a solid platform from which to reposition the group and begin to focus on growth, both in the United Kingdom and internationally".

"These measures provide a solid platform from which to reposition the group and begin to focus on growth, both in the United Kingdom and internationally".

Already this year Toys R Us UK, electricals group Maplin and drinks wholesaler Conviviality have moved into administration, while fashion retailer New Look and floor coverings retailer Carpetright are closing stores. 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.

Retailers across the board have been battered by weak consumer confidence off the back of soaring Brexit-fuelled inflation.

That includes £28 million it is seeking to raise from shareholders, an extension of its existing debt to £67.5 million, and £18 million in shareholder and trade partner loans.

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