Job losses likely to exceed previously quoted number.
On Monday, Mothercare announced that it was “not capable of being sufficiently profitable” and that it had failed to find a buyer. Joint administrator Zelf Hussain said: “It’s with real regret that we have to implement a phased closure of all UK stores. Our focus will be to help employees and keep the stores trading for as long as possible.”
Mothercare chairman Clive Whiley commented: “It is with deep regret and sadness that we have been unable to avoid the administration of Mothercare. The board fully understands the significant impact on those UK colleagues and business partners who are affected. However, the board has 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.”
However, his choice of words in other parts of his statement – including describing the closure of its UK shops as “…the completion of our transformation programme…” – has raised eyebrows in certain quarters, especially as this development is likely to result in more jobs being lost at Mothercare than has previously been indicated. In addition to the 2,485 store employees, a further 384 head office and distribution staff are employed by entities going into administration
Meanwhile, the fact that group boss Mark Newton-Jones still picked up a £158,000 bonus for last year has not gone unnoticed.
Mothercare revealed it is in continuing talks over possible UK concession stores and about using the brand to sell goods online. It also said it would move its pensions scheme across to its international business.