NEWS

Mothercare sales fall amid ‘difficult consumer backdrop’

Published on: 9th January 2019

UK sales fell 11.4% in its last quarter, while online sales dropped by 16.3%, the retailer has announced.

The business is in the midst of a UK store closure programme, with 36 currently in closing-down mode. By the end of March, there will be 79 stores, down from 137 in May 2018. The firm kept its guidance for the financial year unchanged.

Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: “Whilst the UK continues to be challenging, in part as a result of our planned restructuring, we are still on course to deliver the necessary transformation.”

Last year, Mothercare underwent a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which allowed it to shut loss-making shops and reduce rents. It also raised £28m through issuing new shares. Mark left in March last year, but then returned in May.

As well as the difficult consumer backdrop, the company said the fall in sales had also been affected by “aggressive discounting” in the previous year, which had inflated sales in that period.

The figures – which are like-for-like, stripping out changes to stores – are for the 13 weeks to 5th January. The international business was showing signs of recovery, Mark said, with sales down 1.1%.

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