If you live in the UK and you love Mothercare, prepare to search further for the Mothercare store closest to you. That’s because Mothercare will be closing more than 25% of its UK stores during the next two years. By March of 2013, they plan to move from having 373 stores to having 266 locations. This is part of their plan to reduce their High Street presence. The group is working, as well, to cut margins in order to shift unsold stock.
Mothercare is a well established UK retailer, selling everything from nursery products to maternity wear and baby toys and gifts. They have the top brands, extensive selections and more.
They reported a slump in their 2010 profits that were mostly due to bad weather prior to Christmas and to increased competition in the area. Pre-tax profits for the year up until March 26th were £8.8m, down from £32.5m a year ago.
The company explained that the store closings alone will help them to benefit by as much as £4m to £5m a year after taxes. They plan to focus more on their out-of-town stores and on their online business and their wholesale enterprises.
Interestingly enough, while Mothercare took a hit in the UK last year, their international sales were up. They said that they had a “record year internationally” and that their total sales were up 16.3%. As Ben Gordon, Mothercare’s chief executive said, “In the new financial year, we expect international to continue to grow retail sales by 15% to 20% with 150 new store openings.”