Store closures: could Mothercare in Portsmouth shut?

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BABYWEAR retailer Mothercare has announced plans to shut 50 of its UK stores.

The retail giant will close the branches as part of a company voluntary agreement (CVA) after picking up a £72.8m pre-tax loss over the past year.

But in an alleged ‘leaked list’, it has been revealed Portsmouth could be one of the sites earmarked to lose its branch.

Shared on Twitter by Glasgow-based firm Ditchfield Property, the list highlights 49 stores across four UK regions, beneath the subtitle ‘category 3: stores that would close over the next 12 month’.

Portsmouth is included in region four, along with the Isle of Wight.

However, a spokesperson for Mothercare stressed the firm is unable to comment on individual store closes ‘until all staff have been informed’, as an ‘absolute priority’.

A Mothercare store. Picture: Flickr (Labelled for reuse)

A Mothercare store. Picture: Flickr (Labelled for reuse)

The spokesperson said: ‘Of course we regret having to close stores and the impact this will have on colleagues. However, we had no alternative to executing a CVA.

‘The business was in an unsustainable situation and was in clear need of an appropriate resolution and yesterday’s comprehensive measures provide a renewed and stable financial structure for the business, and will allow Mothercare to accelerate its adaptation to the shifting dynamic towards online.’

The alleged ‘leaked list’ comes to light as Mothercare announced it will take on its former chief executive Mark Newton-Jones on a docked salary.

The company, which employs around 3,000 people across 137 stores, ousted him as boss in April.

However, it yesterday said he would be going back to head up the firm as it undertakes the sweeping store closure plan, which could see the loss of 800 jobs.

Mr Newton-Jones will be paid £480,000 on his return, having received a basic salary of £612,000 prior to his departure.