Mothercare to close all 79 stores, putting 2,500 jobs at risk

5 November 2019, 19:07

Mothercare called in administrators on Tuesday
Mothercare called in administrators on Tuesday. Picture: PA

Mothercare will cease trading in the UK and enact a phased closure of all of its 79 UK stores, putting 2,500 jobs at risk.

The baby goods retailer announced it was facing financial strain earlier this week, and called in PwC to assist on Tuesday, who said the UK firm "has been loss making for a number of years".

However international stores, which have more than 1,000 stores in over 40 countries, are still profitable.

The company is still in continuing talks over possible UK concession stores and being able to sell goods online.

On Monday, Mothercare confirmed that it was "no longer capable" of being profitable and that no buyers had come forward to save the firm.

Joint administrator Zelf Hussain commented: "This is a sad moment for a well-known High Street name."

He said: "Mothercare has been hit hard by increasing cost pressures and changes in consumer spending.

"It's with real regret that we have to implement a phased closure of all UK stores. Our focus will be to help employees and keep the stores trading for as long as possible."

The firm is still profitable in other countries
The firm is still profitable in other countries. Picture: PA

The chairman of Mothercare, Clive Whiley, said: "There is deep regret and sadness that we have been unable to avoid the administration of Mothercare."

He stated: "The board fully understand the significant impact on those UK colleagues and business partners who are affected.

"However, the board concluded that the administration processes serve the wider interests of ensuring a sustainable future for the company, including the wider group's global colleagues, its pension fund, lenders and other stakeholders."

Earlier on Tuesday, the company said it was set to move its UK pension scheme into its profitable parent group to try and preserve benefits for its scheme members.

A deal would stop the funds being placed into the UK Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

In the UK, Mothercare had already closed 55 stores over the past year in a desperate bid to keep the business afloat.

A spokesman for The Pensions Regulator said: "We are holding detailed discussions with the scheme trustees, advisers and the PPF to understand the implications of recent developments and to ensure the interests of members are protected to the fullest extent possible. We will not comment further."