Mothercare ‘set to rehire boss and close 50 stores’

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    Mothercare customersImage copyright Newscast

    Mothercare is set to reappoint the chief executive who left in April after poor Christmas trading and a profits warning, reports suggest.

    Mark Newton-Jones had been replaced in the job on 4 April after four years in charge of the baby goods retailer.

    The firm will also announce the closure of 50 of its 137 remaining stores when it releases its annual results later, according to a Sky News report.

    Mothercare has been putting together a rescue deal.

    Earlier this week it said it was “finalising a comprehensive restructuring and refinancing package to put the business on a stable and sustainable financial footing.”

    Full details are expected to be revealed along with its full-year results statement, but the reorganisation is likely to involve an insolvency procedure called a company voluntary arrangement (CVA)

    That typically sees retailers closing stores and renegotiating rents, in return for a fresh injection of finance.

    Over the past four years Mothercare has closed dozens of stores, taking its total from 200 outlets to 137 last year. It intends to reduce that further to between 80 and 100 stores.

    It is the latest retailer to fall victim to troubles on the UK High Street.

    Earlier this year, toy store chain Toys R Us collapsed into administration along with the electronics retailer Maplin.

    Carpetright has entered into a CVA and announced store closures, as has fashion chain New Look.

    A number of reasons have been blamed for failures on the High Street, including a squeeze on consumers’ income, the growth of online shopping and the rising costs of staff, rents and business rates.

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