Wednesday 18 May 2011


Mothercare announced a closure of nearly a third of its stores.

Its not quite as dramatic as the headline suggests but they will still be shedding stores and staff.
110 high street stores are to close by March 2013. But then the leases on 40% of its High Street Stores are due for renewal by 2013.
Mothercare are preferring the out of town shed units, and have done for quite a while. A big, single storey space, with ample parking outside suits ther format better than a cramped, multi floor unit, far from the paying car parks.

Mothercare are in talks with other chains who might like their good sized high street locations, so its not a JJB type desperate situation. Its a managed transition.

But not good news for Mary Portas, Mary Queen of Shops, the TV retail guru who is to carry out a government-backed review aimed at halting the "decline of the High Street" in England.

Well,if you want some advice Mary, you know where we are.

Oh, and just to repeat C@W advice that we've been saying for a few years now.

1.Look at the overseas operations.
Wednesday's preliminary results from Mothercare underlined the extent to which the company is performing better overseas than in its traditional home market. Underlying profits in the UK slumped to £11.1m in the last year, down from £36.1m Underlying profits overseas, though, jumped by 18.5% to £27.5m.
2. Internet sales.
Mothercare's exposure to the UK high street will be reduced with the focus placed on out-of-town Parenting Centres and online sales.


Electro-Kevin said...

They should merge Mothercare with KFC to keep it central and appeal to the starving masses.

Ellesse gets her new buggy - Mum get's her single-portion five-a-day of chips, breast, thigh, reconstituted nuggets, doughnut and a Cola to wash it all down with.

"It's mother fucking good !"

Budgie said...

Well, well, greedy local councils with their enormous parking charges, reduced car parking space, bulged pavements and one way systems cause people to shop out of town and on the internet. Who'd a thunk it?

James Higham said...

A third seems pretty drastic to me, Bill.

Bill Quango MP said...

EK -Sounds like a winner. Mothercare would be horrified if they thought were in the chav market.

Budgie - No doubt there will be a TV program about it, if there isn't already. I watched her first series on charity shops. Thought about 50% of her ideas were OK, 30% unworkable, 10% good and 10% brilliant.
That would be a pretty successful board meeting so i'm sure she will have some ideas.
Hope its not 'street party' days. That's being floated across councils at the moment.Terrible idea.

JH- Its not a third of the company. They are opening new stores out of town. Only the real old units and no hope areas will be axed. They estimate a job loss of around 250 staff, some of which will be employed by people taking over the vacated premises. For a closure of this size, that is not many.

diogenes said...

I think of Groiningen - a smallish city in the North of Holland. The cenre is totally edestrianised. But it s compact so you can easily walk round it in an hour. There are loads of carparks on the periphery. Loads of shops in the centre. Good rail and transport links - 2 hours from Amsterdam by rail...slightly more by car if you ovey speed-limits. A red-light district. No out of town shopping-only developments.

If our towns are disfugured by out-of-town malls, then it is due to the is not a rule of life.

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