Mothercare to close 50 stores

The future of Kirkcaldy's Mothercare store is uncertain today as the company announces it is to close 50 stores.

Mothercare to axe 50 stores across UK. Picture: Contributed

The stores which will be affected have not yet been revealed, but the closures will result in hundreds of job losses across the company.

The closures will be carried out through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) –a move which allows companies to close loss-making shops and secure rental discounts.

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Speaking about the news today (Thursday) Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said: “This news is very disappointing and my thoughts are with staff at Kirkcaldy’s Mothercare who now face an anxious wait to see if their jobs are affected.

“I’ve been in touch with the company this morning and understand no official announcement about particular stores will be made until all affected staff have been informed.

“I hope this news will be forthcoming soon, for the sake of workers here.”

She added: “The closure of this store would be a blow to Kirkcaldy, and Fife Retail Park, coming hard on the heels of the closure of the Toys R Us right next door. Let’s hope it won’t come to that.”

Mothercare employs around 3000 people across 137 outlets all over the UK.

As part of the wide-ranging shake up Mothercare will also re-hire the chief executive it sacked just weeks ago.

Mark Newton Jones, who was given the elbow as chief executive last month, will return to the top job once again and the man that had been brought in to replace him, David Wood, will now become managing director.

As part of the restructuring, Mothercare also announced a refinancing package worth up to £113.5 million.

Chairman Clive Whiley said: “The recent financial performance of the business, impacted in particular by a large number of legacy loss-making stores within the UK estate, has resulted in an unsustainable situation for the Mothercare brand, meaning the group was in clear need of an appropriate resolution.

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

“These measures provide a solid platform from which to reposition the group and begin to focus on growth, both in the UK and internationally.”