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Gloucestershire Business News

Sales slump for Mothercare

Baby goods retailer Mothercare saw sales fall by 7.2 per cent in the crucial Christmas period.

The company's total UK sales are down, which Mothercare says reflects its ongoing store closure programme. The company now has 139 UK stores, including one in Gloucester. At the start of the decade, it had 400 stores.

In the 12 week period to 30th December, online sales fell by 6.9 per cent. Online sales now account for 42 per cent of the firm's total sales.

Mark Newton-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Mothercare plc, said: "In our UK business, we took a conscious decision to remain at full price to protect our brand positioning prior to Christmas but to then discount more heavily in the end of season sale.

"In line with previous announcements and as part of our transformation strategy, we have taken decisive action to reduce our central cost base. The planned financial benefits of this will materialise in the next financial year.

"Whilst the performance of the business has been challenging in the last few months, we remain singularly focussed on transforming Mothercare to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children."

The company expects profit for the year to be in the range of £1-5 million.

It has been a tough week for big name retailers, with Debenhams reporting poor Christmas trading  and House of Fraser confirming that it has asked for rent reductions on some of its stores, as reported by the BBC.

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