Mothercare set to close more shops

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THERE were more fears of high street shop closures as Mothercare announced 111 more stores will go yesterday.

In a quarterly trading statement for the period to the end of March, the company confirmed it would be closing the Mothercare and Early Learning Centre (ELC) stores across the country by March 2015, with a loss of about 730 jobs.

The announcement was worrying for towns like Bury St Edmunds that have branches of both stores because the statement says that 75 of the 111 will be ELC stores.

Mothercare wants to keep its best 200 stores, 95 of which will be out of town ones. It closed 62 stores in the last financial year, of which 59 were ELC.

The trading statement says that in the past financial year Mothercare’s sales were down 6.3 per cent in the UK even though worldwide they were up by 4.3 per cent. It has about 1,000 stores abroad.

It says the company is ‘rightsizing’ its overheads in the UK and aims to cut costs by £20 million by 2015.

Nobody was available at Mothercare to comment on which stores are likely to close and staff at Bury’s Mothercare and ELC had been instructed not to comment.