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Embattled retailer Mothercare brings in KPMG

Published on: October 28th, 2019

The appointment of restructuring experts from the accountancy giant raises concerns for future of Mothercare’s 79 stores and 2,500 staff.

The high street retailer, which fell to a £36.3m loss and shut 55 stores last year under a controversial company voluntary arrangement (CVA), has been trying to sell its UK arm.

The company is now considering closing more stores or asking landlords for rent cuts, but a sale is believed to be preferred, The Sunday Times reported.

Mothercare boss Mark Newton-Jones wants its UK stores to become franchises, to mirror its profitable international business – effectively turning the retailer into a branding and product supplier.

A spokesman said: ‘Our priority is to complete the transformation of the business.’

The retailer has been in sales talks since the summer, after striking a refinancing plan with creditors in an effort to ensure its survival. In July, Mothercare reported a 3.2% fall in first quarter like-for-like sales amid an “uncertain and volatile” market and “fragile consumer confidence”. It said that annual profitability was set to show no improvement on the prior year – when it reported a pre-tax loss of £66.6m.

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