Apr 4, 2018

Mothercare replaces chief with former Kmart executive

Mothercare, one of a clutch of British retailers at the forefront of a battle against a slowdown on the UK high street and tough trading conditions, has abruptly replaced its boss with a former Kmart executive, it said on Wednesday. Mothercare endured a disappointing Christmas trading period, when weakness in the UK combined with "Challenging" international sales, prompting the company to warn in January that full-year adjusted earnings were likely to be as low as £1m to £5m. Mothercare said Mr Wood's appointment with immediate effect "Ensures that Mothercare has in place fresh leadership to complete its transformation plan and return to growth". At Kmart, which is part of the department store group Sears, Mr Wood had "Successfully transformed the customer value proposition and retail operating model, returning the business to sustainable profit growth", after having "Achieved similar results in the UK and internationally" during an earlier stint at Tesco, Mothercare said. Mothercare has lost roughly 85 per cent of its market value over the past 12 months, according to data from FactSet, with a more than 70 per cent decline since the start of the calendar year. The retailer now has a market capitalisation of about £31m. While the company's chairman Alan Parker said on Wednesday that Mothercare had made "Positive progress", he added that it was "Essential we have the most effective leadership in place to meet our ambitions".

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