Not So Merry: Mothercare Sales Slide During Christmas Period

Struggling children's goods retailer Mothercare has continued to suffer from declining sales, with no reversal in its fortunes over the crucial Christmas trading period. Sales at its UK stores that have been open for more than a year fell by 11.4 per cent in the 13 weeks to January, compared to the same period a year before, the Financial Times reported. Online sales dropped by 16.3 per cent as fewer people visited its website and its toy range was smaller than a year ago. The group said trading conditions remained “challenging” and blamed its store closure programme in part for its difficulties. It also said that its sales had fallen because it had not cut its prices as heavily as it had last Christmas. Last year, Mothercare used a company voluntary arrangement — a restructuring deal designed to keep businesses out of insolvency and allow time to negotiate store closures and rent reductions with landlords — to close 60 stores in the UK. The company also raised £30m from shareholders in a rights issue to shore up its balance sheet. Read more