Mothercare sales drop even further as fewer people visit its stores

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Mothercare’s woes continued on Thursday as it reported UK sales fell in the 12 weeks up to 24 March as it remains in talks with lenders over refinancing. 

The retailer says sales declined by 2.8 per cent in comparison to the same period last year and blamed it on the fact fewer people are visiting its stores.

It offset poor footfall with growth in website sales, which represent almost half of Mothercare’s total UK sales.

In a fourth quarter trading update released on Thursday, Mothercare said its international sales performance was ‘encouraging’.   

“My immediate priority is to ensure Mothercare is put back on a sound financial footing and to improve its financial performance,” said chief executive David Wood.

“In this competitive climate, promotional activity has been necessary to stimulate customer demand.”

He said the firm was reducing its store porfolio from 140 to 80 “in response to changing consumer preferences”.

Mothercare replaced former boss Mark Newton-Jones with Mr Wood last week as it fends off lenders over its poor financial position.

“We remain in constructive dialogue with our financing partners with respect to our financing needs for FY19 and beyond, and we continue to explore additional sources of financing to support and maintain the momentum of our transformation programme,” said Mr Wood.

The baby clothing retailer’s slump comes off the back of poor Christmas trading as it struggles to compete with online competitors.

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