Uncertainty over Northern Ireland Mothercare stores as retailer announces closures

Uncertainty over Northern Ireland Mothercare stores as retailer announces closures

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. Given the financial position, the board instigated a full financial review.

The shake-up at the babycare retailer, which has been trading since 1961, is to see it shrink from 137 to 78 stores in the next two years - down from more than 400 locations in 2007.

The company also confirmed Mark Newton-Jones is returning as Chief Executive Officer and that the current CEO David Wood has been named the Group Managing Director.

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

The CVA, as is standard, will need the support of its creditors.

"However, there remains much to do and we must maintain a disciplined focus on cost control and cash generation throughout the business, but 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". It has more than 1,000 stores overseas, many of them operated as franchises.

It is not clear which Mothercare stores are under threat from its restructure plans, which includes a refinancing package worth £113.5 million.

Summary of esure Group plc (LON:ESUR) Ratings
On Tuesday, January 2 the stock of Wizz Air Holdings Plc (LON:WIZZ) has "Overweight" rating given by JP Morgan. RPS has 209,194 shares volume. $146,013 worth of FirstCash, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) on Wednesday, April 18.

No specific details have been revealed as to stores facing closure.

Earlier this year, toy store chain Toys R Us collapsed into administration, as did electronics retailer Maplin.

It has also had to contend with surging wage costs and eye-watering business rate hikes.

Richard Hyman, retail adviser and consultant, told the BBC's Today programme that Mothercare's problems went back years.

"Nothing can sum it up quite as well as the fact you can't get a pram round the store".

Others said shoppers were increasingly heading to value chains such as Primark for products which were of similar quality, adding the brand has become complacent.

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