Around 2,500 Mothercare UK jobs are at risk after PwC administrators Zelf Hussain, David Robert Baxendale and Mark Banfield were appointed as joint administrators to the beleaguered retailer.
The joint administrators are to undertake a phased closure of its 79 UK stores as they oversee the wind-down of Mothercare UK and Mothercare Business Services.
Around 500 of the jobs at risk are full-time posts, including head office roles, with the remaining 2,000 part-time.
While the international franchise operations are profitable, the UK segment has been loss-making for several years, Mothercare said. The directors have in recent times explored many options to restructure Mothercare UK, including a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in May 2018.
Despite the restructuring that followed the CVA, trading has remained challenging, with reduced consumer spending and a fundamental change in high street retail.
The joint administrators will continue to trade the UK business and have appointed Gordon Brothers as agents to provide an experienced retail team to work in partnership with the head office, store and divisional teams. The UK store portfolio will be wound down over the coming weeks and months.
Zelf Hussain, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: “This is a sad moment for a well-known high street name. No-one is immune from the challenging conditions faced by the UK retail sector. Like many other retailers, Mothercare has been hit hard by increasing cost pressures and changes in consumer spending.”
“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.”
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