Uncertainty over Mothercare's Northern Ireland stores as retailer announces closures

Uncertainty over Mothercare's Northern Ireland stores as retailer announces closures

Mark Newton-Jones was sacked by the then chairman Alan Parker - who has himself subsequently stepped down.

Mothercare employs about 3,000 people across 137 outlets in the United Kingdom, including branches in Walsall, Stafford, Telford and at Merry Hill shopping centre.

"The announcement to close such a significant number of stores highlights the unyielding shift towards online shopping and the overcapacity concerns faced by a significant proportion of the market". Former Tesco executive David Wood who had taken on the chief executive role and is just over a month into the job, will become group managing director.

Uncertainty hangs over the future of Northern Ireland's five Mothercare stores after the retailer said it was to close 50 shops across the UK.

As part of the restructuring, Mothercare has also arranged a refinancing package worth up to £113.5m.

"?The recent financial performance of the business, impacted in particular by a large number of legacy loss making stores within the United Kingdom estate, has resulted in an unsustainable situation for the Mothercare brand, meaning the group was in clear need of an appropriate resolution".

Mothercare has announced that 50 stores across the country are to close which could include the Isle of Wight’s only store in Carisbrooke
Mothercare has announced that 50 stores across the country are to close which could include the Isle of Wight’s only store in Carisbrooke

'These comprehensive measures provide a renewed and stable financial structure for the business and will drive a step change in Mothercare's transformation'.

Brutal trading conditions are also partly responsible for the collapse of Toys R Us UK, electricals group Maplin and drinks wholesaler Conviviality.

No specific details have been revealed as to stores facing closure.

Shares in Mothercare were up 4.8 pence at 26.6 pence at 0832 GMT, valuing the business at 46 million pounds. It is a final attempt to avoid administration and reset the business on a firm financial footing.

He told Express.co.uk: "Allowing a business to continue trading and its existing management to retain control, CVAs are sometimes viewed as a more attractive option than other methods of insolvency, such as pre-pack administrations". The group hopes to renegotiate rents on 21 further stores as it seeks to make savings of £15m a year.

In addition to the proposed equity issue the firm has also secured revised committed debt facilities of 67.5 million pounds, 8 million pounds of new shareholder loans and a new debtor backed facility of up to 10 million pounds from a trade partner.

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