Mothercare boss Mark Newton-Jones exits
Written by Peter Walker
Mothercare chief executive Mark Newton-Jones has today stepped down as part of the embattled retailer’s transformation plans.
Chief financial officer Glyn Hughes has been drafted in as interim chief executive officer with immediate effect, with Newton-Jones due to remain as an executive director until July.
Corporate development director Andrew Cook has been promoted to chief financial officer, while chairman Clive Whiley will become non-executive chairman from 29 March.
In early November, Mothercare’s UK business appointed PwC as administrators, putting 2,800 jobs at risk as 79 stores were confirmed for closure.
The following month, it signed a franchise deal with Boots, stocking existing Mothercare-branded clothing, home and travel products.
Mothercare has since stated said it is “broadly on track” with the planned recapitalisation of the group, following a £8.7 million fundraise from existing investors and a reduction of bank debt through the administration process.
The existing £24 million debt facilities owed to the company’s current lenders are secured over the group as a whole.
Whiley explained: “We have made good progress with the transformation plan and the risks to achieving the outcomes we laid out in November are increasingly dissipated.
“Our plans for the final steps of the recapitalisation of the group are in hand and, while the cash realisation from the Mothercare UK administration was lower than anticipated, the progress that we have made elsewhere means that the financing requirement overall is unchanged from our original plans.”
He added: “The board changes announced today align the management of Mothercare with that of its new structure as an international franchise brand and will contribute to a further overhead reduction.”
The statement also noted that “in time we plan to add relevant skills and expertise - particularly in brand and product management - to accelerate our development as an international brand owner and operator.”
Mothercare’s most recent results showed total UK sales down 23.2 per cent for the 15 weeks to 13 July as a result of its store closure programme. Online sales fell 12.1 per cent, while total group sales dropped 9.2 per cent.