Mothercare stores in Walsall and Stafford set to close in rescue plan

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Mothercare said the first six months of the financial year had been "positive" but was followed by a "very difficult" second half in the United Kingdom, where sales were impacted by reduced footfall.

In 2016, another Alshaya-franchised United Kingdom brand, BHS, entered into a CVA agreement with creditors, under which 40 of its 160 United Kingdom stores were shut.

Sadly that means jobs will also be lost here in West Norfolk as well.

Meanwhile, Mark Newton Jones, who was given the elbow as chief executive last month, will return to the fold and once again take the top job.

Newton-Jones's replacement as CEO - former Tesco executive David Wood - will become group managing director.

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

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The Irish business exited an examinership in October 2015 that resulted in three stores being closed at Blackrock and Jervis Street in Dublin and Cruises Street in Limerick and significant rental reductions being achieved. However, profit is significantly lower than in the previous year.

The closures are part of a restructuring plan as the struggling firm looks to secure its future by implementing a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to close underperforming stores and reduce rents across the remaining portfolio. The new plan would see it trade from 78 United Kingdom stores by 2020.

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. Mothercare also intends to raise £28m by issuing shares.

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

Analysts at Peel Hunt said Mothercare's measures looked sufficient to get the United Kingdom business back to breakeven.

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