Belfast Telegraph

Troubled Mothercare silent over future of five Northern Ireland stores

By Mary Kennedy

Mothercare has remained tight-lipped over the possible closure of its stores in Northern Ireland.

The company, which has five branches here, is to axe 50 UK stores with closures coming as early as June 30.

Mothercare employs about 3,000 staff across 137 outlets.

It currently has outlets in Newtownabbey, Lisburn, Newry, Bangor and Londonderry. Its Belfast city centre store had previously closed.

The closure of the stores will result in hundreds of job losses across the UK.

A spokesperson for the company said: "We can't comment on individual store closures until all staff have been informed, which is our absolute priority.

"Of course, we regret having to close stores and the impact this will have on colleagues. However, we have no alternative to executing a CVA.

"The business was in an unsustainable situation and was in clear need of an appropriate resolution, and today's comprehensive measures provide a renewed and stable financial structure for the business and will allow Mothercare to accelerate its adaption to the shifting dynamic towards online."

Mothercare confirmed that it plans to close 50 stores as part of a rescue plan.

The shake-up will also see the return of chief executive Mark Newton-Jones just 36 days after he unexpectedly left the company.

David Wood, the man brought in to replace him, becomes managing director.

Mothercare, which has been trading since 1961, said it was facing a "perilous financial condition" and identified a large number of loss-making stores.

The plans came as the company reported a £72.8m pre-tax loss for the year to March 24, compared to a £7.1m profit a year before - dragged into the red by costs such as restructuring as well as a number of store closures.

Belfast Telegraph

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