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Mothercare to reappoint sacked CEO as it looks to close 50 stores

Mothercare is to reappoint its sacked CEO Mark Newton-Jones as it prepares o shutter 50 of its 137 UK stores.

The chief executive was removed from his post in April after poor Christmas trading and a profits warning. He was replaced after four years in charge of the baby goods retailer.

It is also reported that Mothercare is putting together a rescue deal and earlier this week said that it was ‘finalising a comprehensive restructuring and refinancing package to put the business on a stable and sustainable financial footing.’

Full details are expected to be revealed along with its full-year results statement, but the reorganisation is likely to involve a CVA. Typically this sees retailers closing stores and renegotiating rents.

Over the past four years Mothercare has closed dozens of stores, taking its total from 200 outlets to 137 last year. It now intends to reduce that by a further 80 to 100 stores.

A number of reasons have been blamed 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.

Earlier this year, the toy store chain Toys R Us and its nursery arm, Babies R Us collapsed into administration.

ToyNews caught up with the industry’s views on the recent slate of brick and mortar store closures at this week’s Toymaster show where the underlying feeling was that, ‘physical nursery market retailing is currently in a precarious position.’

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