Following an announcement at close of business on Tuesday 5 November 2019, nursery and maternity retailer Mothercare has officially entered administration and will be ceasing all UK trading.
The announcement will see the multiple retailer closing all 79 UK stores and its online business after calling in administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this week. More than 2,500 jobs will be lost, with just 50 UK head office staff remaining to deal with running the international business. The UK stores are expected to be closing over the coming ‘weeks and months’.
Mothercare’s profitable overseas operations will remain unaffected, with more than 1,000 franchise stores in over 40 countries continuing to operate under the Mothercare name. In the financial year ending March 2019, international profits stood at £28.3m, while the UK retail operations lost £36.3m.
“This is a sad moment for a well-known high street name,” said Zelf Hussain, joint administrator and PwC partner. “No-one is immune from the challenging conditions faced by the UK retail sector. Like many other retailers, Mothercare has been hit hard by increasing cost pressures and changes in consumer spending.”
He continued: “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.”
Clive Whiley, chairman of Mothercare also commented on the news, saying: “It is with deep regret and sadness that we have been unable to avoid the administration of Mothercare UK.”
He continued: “The UK high street is facing a near existential problem with intensifying and compounding pressures across numerous fronts, most notably the high levels of rent and rates and the continuing shifts in consumer behaviour from high street to online.”
Mothercare’s shares will remain listed on the London Stock Exchange