The retailer’s like-for-like sales in the UK, which exclude stores open for less than a year, fell by 1.9% in the 13 weeks to 12 October. Five loss-making stores were also closed during the period, contributing to a 6.9% fall in total UK sales. The international business performed better with sales up 12.4% during the quarter, but it was not enough to offset the weakness in the UK, as total group sales fell by 0.5%.
Simon Calver, the chief executive, commented that the company is continuing to make fundamental improvements to its business in the UK, which will allow Mothercare to compete effectively in a changing marketplace. However, the UK market in home and travel remained highly promotional and Autumn/Winter clothing faced the same warm-weather challenges as the rest of the sector but is gaining market share. He added that next-day click-and-collect services would be extended to all UK Early Learning Centre stores in time for Christmas trading.
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