Date:12 April 2012
Mothercare to close more stores and expand online
Mothercare is planning to close a further 111 UK stores, following the closure of 62 stores in its latest financial year. This will leave the maternity retailer with 95 out-of-town stores and 105 high street shops. The majority of closures will be Early Learning Centre stores, which the retailer believes will result in an uplift in profits of £13m profits by 2015.
The closures form part of a three-year turnaround strategy for Mothercare. Next month, Simon Calver, the former boss of LoveFilm will join the retailer as chief executive. The maternity retailer plans to launch new combined online and in-store customer services, a new UK website, as well as 30 international websites.
The maternity specialist’s UK like-for-likes plunged 6.2% in the year to 31st March and this worsened in the fourth quarter, with a decline of 8.2%, which it said was due to clearing excess Christmas stock. However, international sales soared 16% during the year, which pushed total group sales up 0.7%.