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Mothercare is to close 50 stores
17 May 2018, 05:31 | Kelvin Horton
Mothercare has stores in Newtownabbey Lisburn Newry Bangor and Londonderry
Sky News reported Mothercare's plans earlier and said the store closures would trigger hundreds of job cuts. Given the financial position, the board instigated a full financial review.
Mothercare's restructuring would see it shrink from 137 stores to 78 in two years' time and 73 in 2022 - down from a United Kingdom network of more than 400 stores in 2007 shortly after it bought the Early Learning Centre chain.
What's gone wrong at Mothercare?Mothercare, they told me, was too pricey.
Frances Bishop owner of children's shop The Pud Store, said on Twitter the news had "been coming for a long time".
The company plans cuts to its United Kingdom shop network under a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), a solution which must be approved by creditors and would also see rent reductions at 21 further outlets.
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 another surprise move, Mothercare has reappointed Mark Newton-Jones, the chief executive who was sacked last month after a big fall in sales over the Christmas trading period and a profits warning.
David Wood, the man brought in to replace him, becomes managing director.
The retailer, meanwhile, stresses that its recent financial performance, impacted in particular by a large number of legacy loss making stores within the United Kingdom estate, has resulted in an unsustainable situation.
Today it announced a refinancing package worth up to £113.5 million.
Mothercare 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".
The high street chain made the decision due to the current poor climate for retailers that has already seen Toys R Us and Maplin close down this year.
Carpetright has entered into a CVA and announced store closures, as has fashion chain New Look.
A number of reasons have been blamed for failures on the High Street, including a squeeze on consumers' income, the growth of online shopping and the rising costs of staff, rents and business rates.
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