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Mothercare 'set to rehire boss and close 50 stores'
17 May 2018, 03:49 | Sandy Nunez
Mothercare has stores in Newtownabbey Lisburn Newry Bangor and Londonderry
The UK restructuring measure will see Mothercare exit from 50 stores by June 2019 to achieve a targeted estate of 78 stores by 2020.
In what has been a bad year for bricks and mortar retails, so far this in 2018 Toys R Us announced plan to close a further 75 stores in the UK; Carpetright said that it will close 92 of its 400 shops; Prezzo pizza confirmed that it will shut 94 of its 300 restaurants, putting around 500 jobs at risk, and Marks & Spencer announced that 14 stores would close.
Shares in Mothercare were up 4.8 pence at 26.6 pence at 0832 GMT, valuing the business at 46 million pounds.
He added: "The potential for the Mothercare brand in the United Kingdom, benefitting from a restructured store estate, and internationally remains significant".
The child and baby care retailer has also secured £113.5mln in financing, while it is bringing back its former chief executive who left in the wake of March's profit warning.
The firm now trades from 137 United Kingdom stores, having had almost 400 a decade ago.
The shake-up aimed at restoring the fortunes of the chain are likely to result in hundreds of job losses.
The struggling retailer has also agreed a rent cut with landlords for 21 of its stores. Previous year it recorded a small operating profit after savings made from the closures of its Blackrock and Jervis Street stores in Dublin and the Cruises Street shop in Limerick.
"These comprehensive measures provide a renewed and stable financial structure for the business and will drive a step change in Mothercare's transformation".
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".
It comprises £28 million through an equity capital raising, an extension of its existing debt to £67.5 million, £18 million in shareholder and trade partner loans.
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