Mothercare UK like-for-likes down 11.4%
Mothercare has reported a 11.4% drop in its quarterly UK like-for-like sales as it works through its transformation plan.
In a statement, the company said the fall reflected a difficult consumer backdrop in the period which covers the 13 weeks to 5 January. It also highlighted “aggressive” discounting undertaken in the prior year that had inflated sales in that period
In the most recent quarter UK online sales declined by 16.3% after trading was impacted by fewer visitors to the retailer’s website, lower iPad sales in-store due to Mothercare’s store closure programme, and a smaller toy offering.
Looking overseas, retail sales were down 1.1% in constant currency and down 3.2% in actual currency although the company said its international business is showing signs of recovery.
Mothercare said it is on track with its transformation plan in which it is aiming to deliver at least £19 million of annual cost savings. It also said its profit guidance for the full year remains unchanged.
Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive of Mothercare, said: “In our interim statement we updated on progress with our strategic plans to ensure a more sustainable and ultimately profitable Mothercare business. Whilst the UK continues to be challenging, in part as a result of our planned restructuring, we are still on course to deliver the necessary transformation.”
The company said its UK store closure programme is ahead of schedule with 36 stores currently working to close down. By the end of March, Mothercare will have a total 79 stores in the UK.
Newton Jones added: “The UK business will now operate with the discipline of a franchise, allowing the wider group to focus on the Mothercare brand and making it stronger globally.”
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