Mothercare to close 50 stores in the UK

Mothercare confirms 50 closures in rescue plan

Mothercare to close 50 stores putting Kent jobs at risk

Mothercare now trades from 137 United Kingdom stores but aims to reduce that to 78 by 2020, meaning a further nine stores would close beyond this initial programme.

Shares in Mothercare PLC surged Thursday after the baby products retailer announced a GBP113.5 million funding plan and restructuring of its United Kingdom store portfolio.

Mothercare employs about 3,000 people across 137 outlets in the United Kingdom, including branches in Walsall, Stafford, Telford and at Merry Hill shopping centre. It had intended have 92 outlets by 2023, but has now accelerated its closure plans and will have just 73 by that year.

The company is not yet saying which stores will close.

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

Clive Whiley, Mothercare's interim executive chairman, 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".

Interim executive 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".

Mothercare declined to elaborate on a statement it issued on Monday, in which it said it was "finalising a comprehensive restructuring and refinancing package to put the business on a stable and sustainable financial footing".




Mothercare's shares had lost 83 percent of their value over the a year ago but rose as much as 34 percent on Thursday after the firm detailed a 113.5 million pounds ($153.2 million) refinancing, including a 28 million pounds equity raise, and said Mark Newton-Jones would return as CEO.

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

"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".

David Wood, who was brought in to replace Newton-Jones is expected to take up another executive role.

The company also has secured maturity extension to its committed debt facilities of GBP67.5 million and GBP8 million in new loans from some large shareholders.

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.

A number of reasons have been cited 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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