Sales Slide At Mothercare

Mothercare has warned on profits after a dip in sales at the mother and baby products retailer.

In the 12 weeks to 30 December 2017 UK like-for-like sales at Mothercare fell by 7.2 per cent, while online sales were down by 6.9 per cent. The company said this reflected the company's store closure programme.

Mark Newton-Jones, Mothercare chief executive, added: "As we signalled in November, there has been a softening in the UK market with lower footfall and website traffic resulting in lower spend in both stores and online."

He said that the company made a "conscious" decision during the period to keep products at full price in a bid to "protect" its brand position ahead of Christmas, discounting more heavily in the end of season sale.

"We have subsequently seen good progress with strong sell through rates on Autumn Winter clearance lines albeit these carry lower margins and will lead to a further reduction in full year margin as a result," Newton-Jones said.

"Going forward, we are not anticipating any improvement in the short-term market conditions for the UK and on this basis the adjusted group profit for the year is likely to be in the range of £1m and £5m.

"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."

International sales at Mothercare also decreased by 3 per cent on a constant currency basis and 6.8 per cent in actual currency during the period.

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