Mothercare to close 111 more stores

750 jobs at risk; 36 Mothercare and 75 Early Learning Centres stores to close by March 2015.
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As predicted by financial analysts in March, Mothercare has announced the closure of further stores in its fourth quarter update.

As part of a ‘new strategy for Transformation and Growth’, Mothercare will now close 111 stores – 36 Mothercare and 75 Early Learning Centres – over the next three years to March 2015.

This will leave the group with a ‘profitable core’ of 200 stores, with 105 on the High Street and 95 in out-of-town retail parks and shopping centres.

In its Q4 statement, the retailer reported a total UK sales drop of 6.3 per cent for the full year 2011. Comparatively, its international sales were up 18 per cent in the 52 weeks to March 31st. Total group sales grew 2.4 per cent.

Mothercare currently operates 311 stores in the UK and 1,028 overseas and opened a net 134 stores outside of Britain last year.

Executive chairman Alan Parker said: "Today we have announced the framework of our decisive three year strategy to restore the UK business back to profit and strengthen our foundations for growth.

"This will see us operate a lean, more competitive business, focused on the existing profitable stores in a smaller UK portfolio, combined with a state of the art online platform. Our International business continues to perform strongly and we plan to further accelerate growth.

"Mothercare is a great global brand with strong international partners. I am confident we will deliver a sustained recovery and long term success."

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