Mothercare is to cease trading in the UK, shutting all its 79 stores and online business through a period of “phased” closures as it calls in administrators from PwC.
Around 2,500 retail jobs will disappear from high streets, shopping centres and retail outles as the nursery chain collapses, but the administration will not affect Mothercare’s overseas business. A skeleton staff of 50 will remain on at the UK headquarters to oversee the operation of its international franchisees.
“This is a sad moment for a well-known high street name,” said Zelf Hussain, a PwC Partner and joint administrator.
“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.”
Clive Whiley, the chairman of Mothercare, echoed the sentiments, saying the UK high street faced “a near existential problem” spurred by the compounding issues of high rent and British shoppers continued adoption of online retail.
The administration will give the nursery retailer the stability it has not had for more than five years, and has allowed it to secure financing to remain a going concern and focus on its global business.
It expects to remain listed on the London Stock Exchange.