500 Mothercare jobs at risk in the UK

Wednesday 18 June 2014 11.57
Mothercare employs around 3,500 full-time UK staff in 220 stores
Mothercare employs around 3,500 full-time UK staff in 220 stores

Up to 500 jobs in the UK are at risk at struggling chain Mothercare after the mother and baby products retailer announced plans to overhaul working hours. 

The firm, which employs around 3,500 full-time UK staff in 220 stores, is in talks to cut the hours of 500 staff who work more than 24 hours a week, with workers who do not accept the change facing redundancy. 

The business will also create 200 part-time jobs as part of its bid to put more staff on the shop floor at peak times such as Saturday afternoons. 

Mothercare's turnaround plans were hit in February when chief executive Simon Calver resigned, six weeks after the company issued a profits warning due to poor Christmas trading in the UK.

"Mothercare is looking to increase the proportion of colleagues serving customers at our busiest times. As well as creating new jobs, this step will lead to changes in working practices for a number of our UK store colleagues and we are consulting with those affected," the company said today.

Mothercare appointed Mark Newton-Jones, a former Shop Direct boss, as interim chief executive in March and is still looking for a full-time head.

At the group's full-year results in May it posted a 61% rise in underlying profits to £9.5m, which includes its international business that covers 60 markets.

However, Mothercare's core UK business saw annual like-for-like sales slip 1.9% and total sales fall 7.5% to £462.3m. The UK business reported an underlying loss of £21.5m, compared to a loss of £21.6m the year before.