Mothercare made it official last night that administrators have been appointed to implement a phased closure of the retailer’s 79 UK stores, in a move that puts at risk some 2,500 jobs.
A statement released just after close of business yesterday confirmed that Zelf Hussain, Toby Banfield and David Baxendale from PwC were the joint administrators of Mothercare UK, and the Mothercare Business Services arm.
Hussain confirmed that Mothercare’s 79 stores in the UK would be “wound down over the coming weeks and months,” while Mothercare has stressed that its overseas operations – comprising more than 1000 stores in 40 countries – would continue to trade as normal.
It has also been confirmed that almost 2,500 retail jobs and just over 350 head office and distribution staff would be affected by the administration process. Mothercare’s initial notice to appoint administrators was filed on Monday this week.
It followed a run of poor trading updates that included its year ending March 2019 financials that saw the retailer lose £36.6 million despite the CVA scheme it implemented 18 months ago that saw the closure of 55 stores in a bid to keep the business afloat.
Mothercare chairman, Clive Whiley, said: “It is with deep regret and sadness that we have been unable to avoid the administration of Mothercare UK and Mothercare Business Services, and we fully understand the significant impact on those UK colleagues and business partners who are affected.
“However, the board concluded that the administration processes serve the wider interests of ensuring a sustainable future for the company, including the wider group’s global colleagues, its pension fund, lenders and other stakeholders.
“The action announced today has been carefully thought through and without it, the existence of the wider Group would be threatened.”