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Mothercare in Canterbury, Bluewater and Orpington at risk as administrators called in

Mothercare is to call in the administrators - putting the future of its last remaining Kent stores in jeopardy.

The company says its 79 stores "are not capable of returning to a level of structural profitability and returns that are sustainable".

Mothercare in Canterbury is under threat
Mothercare in Canterbury is under threat

The company has outlets in Canterbury, Bluewater and Orpington.

Nationwide, it employs some 2,500 staff.

Once a regular on the high street, it has seen stores closed over recent years as it adjusted to the challenging retail environment.

It has already been through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) which saw the closure of some 55 stores as it fought to survive.

Its global reach is not affected by the move.

A number of Mothercare stores have closed in recent years
A number of Mothercare stores have closed in recent years

It currently has more than 1,000 stores internationally in more than 40 countries, with overseas stores generating profits of £28.3m. However, in contrast, the UK retail outlets lost £36.3m.

The main Mothercare Group is not impacted by the administration.

A spokesman for the firm said: "Since May 2018, we have undertaken a root and branch review of the group and Mothercare UK within it, including a number of discussions over the summer with potential partners regarding our UK retail business.

"Through this process, it has become clear that the UK retail operations of the group, which today includes 79 stores, are not capable of returning to a level of structural profitability and returns that are sustainable for the group as it currently stands and/or attractive enough for a third party partner to operate on an arm's length basis. Furthermore, the company is unable to continue to satisfy the ongoing cash needs of Mothercare UK.

"These notices of intent to appoint administrators in respect of Mothercare UK and MBS [Mothercare Business Services] are a necessary step in the restructuring and refinancing of the group. Plans are well advanced and being finalised for execution imminently.A further announcement will be made in due course."

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