Mothercare leaves the high street after 59 years

Mothercare

Collapsed baby and maternity retailer Mothercare will disappear from the UK high street this weekend after decades in the business.

All 79 of its UK stores will be closed by Sunday 13 January, with 2,500 jobs lost across the country.

Since the start of December, Mothercare has slashed prices on products with special offers including a baby Stroller selling at £69.99, down from £334.95, with an antique wardrobe initially sold for £270 dropped by 70% to £81.00.

Customers were unable to access the company’s website but were urged to visit their nearest store for up to 80% off on other selected items, with 37 of the 79 still remaining open on Saturday.

After 59 years in the business, Mothercare’s UK arm went into administration at the end of last year and its management confirmed it was closing all of its physical stores. Its CEO Mark Newton-Jones subsequently said that the business had suffered because the public believed the company had already gone bust before it had due to its well-publicised financial challenges.

In May 2018 it secured a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal which it said would lead to the closure of 50 stores and affect 800 jobs.

But after a struggle in keeping up with rent and cheaper competitors, the parent business announced in November 2019 it would file a notice to appoint administrators as it could no longer “satisfy the cash needs” to keep it afloat.

The Mothercare brand will live on online and in international markets, and its presence on the high street will in future be via branches of Boots which has signed a deal to stock Mothercare-branded clothing from the middle of this year.

Meanwhile Debenhams confirmed earlier this month that 19 of its 160 stores across the UK will also shut their doors for good between January 11 to 19. A spokesman for the chain said that 660 job losses are expected.

The struggling department store entered administration in April 2019 as it sought to reduce its debt and start a major restructuring process.

It announced last year that following the January store closures, further branches are expected to shut down in 2021 to bring it to a total of 50.

But details of the locations and when exactly this will happen have not been disclosed.

The full list of Debenham stores shutting down and the dates they are due to close:

Altrincham, Greater Manchester – January 11

Birmingham, The Fort – January 11

Kirkcaldy, Fife – January 11

Walton-on-Thames, Surrey – January 11

Wandsworth, London – January 11

Wolverhampton – January 11

Chatham, Kent – January 15

Great Yarmouth, Norfolk – January 15

Slough, Berkshire – January 15

Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham – January 15

Welwyn, Herfordshire – January 15

Witney, Oxfordshire – January 15

Ashford, Kent – January 19

Canterbury, Kent – January 19

Eastbourne, East Sussex – January 19

Folkestone, Kent – January 19

Southport, Merseyside – January 19

Southsea, Portsmouth – January 19

Wimbledon, London – January 19