Mothercare to slash store and staff numbers

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Mothercare

Mothercare has announced swathes of new store closures and job losses as it enters its “second phase” of its turnaround phase.

Its 152-store estate is expected to be reduced to between 80 and 100 stores, despite reporting its first profit for six years.

For the full year Mothercare’s pre-tax profits dropped to £7.1 million from £9.7 million a year before. Underlying profit however inched up from £19.6 million to £19.7 million.

Its UK arm made an overall loss of £4.4 million due to a tough first half, however this has declined from a £6.4 million loss a year before.

“We are clear in the role our stores will play for the future, by offering specialist advice and service and first class product presentation,” chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said.

READ MORE: Mothercare warns of price hikes up to 5%

“Store numbers will reduce over time as we focus on a regional presence in key conurbations across the UK.”

There has been no confirmation on how many jobs will be lost amid the store closures, but the retailer stated it hopes to redeploy staff where it can.

It has already slashed a significant portion of its estate, closing the shutters on 21 stores in the year to March 25, and over 100 since it began its overhaul three years ago.

The overhaul also involves scrapping ranges for older children, opting to focus clearly on the maternity and baby market.

The company recently warned that price hikes of up to five per cent could be seen across it ranges as the weak pound seeps it way in to store prices.

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