Mothercare administrators to close all stores across UK

The plans, including the closure of six shops in Scotland, put 2500 jobs at risk.

Mothercare: Firm still wants to keep brand alive in UK. <strong>Betty Longbottom, Creative Commons</strong>
Mothercare: Firm still wants to keep brand alive in UK. Betty Longbottom, Creative Commons

The new administrators of troubled retailer Mothercare have said it will close all its 79 shops in the UK, putting 2500 jobs at risk.

The retailer of baby and children’s goods has six Scottish stores – two in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Dundee and Aberdeen.

It came as the firm revealed it had raised £3.2m from shareholders as it holds last-ditch talks with potential partners to keep its brand in the UK.

Zelf Hussain at administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said: “It’s with real regret that we have to implement a phased closure of all UK stores.

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“Our focus will be to help employees and keep the stores trading for as long as possible.

“This is a sad moment for a well-known high street name.”

The retailer filed a notice to appoint administrators for the UK division on Monday.

Mothercare said it had undertaken a review of its UK business and found it is “not capable of returning to a level of structural profitability”.

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Mothercare UK slumped to a £36.9m loss in the financial year to March, as it has struggled amid a period of turmoil for high street retailers.

However, it is still holding discussions “to ensure that the group has an ongoing retail presence in the UK”, the company said on Tuesday.

The group is understood to be looking at options which could include finding a partner to keep the Mothercare brand alive online, or a supermarket that has space to sell Mothercare-branded products.

Mothercare said it had raised £3.2m from a group of existing investors, including its biggest shareholder, sheep farmer and investment banker Richard Griffiths.

In his first remarks since the crisis started on Monday, chairman Clive Whiley said British high streets were facing “a near existential problem” with high rents and customers deciding to shop online.

“Mothercare UK is far from immune to these headwinds,” he said, adding it had been burning through cash.

Mr Whiley added: “It is with deep regret and sadness that we have been unable to avoid the administration.”


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