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Sales slump at Mothercare

Mothercare’s UK like-for-like sales fell by 11.4% year on year for the 13-week period to 5 January 2019.

The childrenswear and maternitywear retailer blamed “challenging trading conditions in the UK” and “lower levels of discounting and less clearance stock relative to the prior year” for its poor performance.

Online sales were down 16.3% compared with the same period last year and total UK sales fell by 18.4%.

The retailer reported reduction in stock for the end of season sale at 23% lower than the previous year.

As part of a strategic transformation plan to deliver at least £19m of annualised cost savings, 36 store closures will be completed by April 2019. The store total is on course to be reduced to 79 stores by the end of March 2019, down from 137 in May 2018.

International retail sales for the period fell by 1.1%.

CEO Mark Newton-Jones, said: “Looking ahead, our international business continues to show signs of recovery, although we expect market conditions in the UK to remain challenging with further disruption until April from our store closure programme. However, given the pace of our strategic transformation plan, our full-year profit guidance is unchanged.”

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