Mothercare to bring back Mark Newton-Jones as CEO


Mothercare has seen sales and profit hammered by rising costs and intense competition from supermarket groups and online retailers in its main United Kingdom market.

Troubled high street retailer Mothercare plc (LON:MTC) has unveiled plans to close nearly half of its stores over the next four years as part of its turnaround strategy.

British high street stalwart Mothercare is to shit 50 of its stores across the United Kingdom in a radical restructuring plan to save the mother and baby products retailer. The new plan would see it trade from 73 United Kingdom stores by 2022.

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The company also said it would reappoint the chief executive who left in April following poor Christmas trading and a profits warning.

It is thought that David Wood, the former Tesco executive who had replaced Mr Newton-Woods, will shift to another position with the group, although it was not clear what this role would be this evening.

Branding is seen outside a Mothercare store in Altricham, Britain, May 16, 2018.

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The struggling retailer has also agreed a rent cut with landlords for 21 of its stores. Mothercare has 13 stores in the region: Manchester Fort, Crown Point Denton - which has already lost its M&S Outlet this year - Stockport, Macclesfield, Altrincham, Warrington, Blackburn, Prescot, Preston, Aintree Racecourse Retail Park, Bromborough, Chester and Llandudno. The closures will leave it with 78 stores by 2020.

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.

The CVA will go to a creditors' vote on 1 June.

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In addition to the proposed equity issue the firm has also secured revised committed debt facilities of 67.5 million pounds, 8 million pounds of new shareholder loans and a new debtor backed facility of up to 10 million pounds from a trade partner.