• UK like-for-like sales edge up 0.9%
  • Total UK sales drop 1.2%
  • Group sales down 1.8%
  • International sales climb 14.7%
Mothercare says it is taking a “different approach” to the business

Mothercare says it is taking a “different approach” to the business

Mothercare has outlined a modernising plan for it domestic business as the mother, baby and children's goods retailer revealed its UK performance is starting to stabilise.

The company, which has been trying to turnaround its loss-making UK business by revamping and closing stores, saw like-for-like sales edge up 0.9% in the three months ended 12 July. Total UK sales, however, dropped 1.2%, as anticipated with the underperforming store closures. 

Mothercare said it is taking a “different approach” to the business, by moving away from aggressive discounting and concentrating on full price sales. This has impacted online sales where most discounting has traditionally taken place. Direct in-home sales fell 6.4%.

Group sales were also down, by 1.8%, but international sales were back to double-digit growth at 14.7%.

The company also welcomed new CEO Mark Newton-Jones, who was made permanent from his interim role last week.

He offered some initial views on the business in the update, describing the international division as "a robust business model with further growth opportunity".

The UK business, however, Newton-Jones said, needs modernising and requires investment in its infrastructure, its stores and its head office systems.

He said Mothercare will concentrate on four themes to "fix the basics": Cost reduction and cash generation; rebuilding gross margins; improving online and in-store service; and product improvement.

The CEO noted these will form the group's initial efforts and that further detail on the company's future strategy will be shared in the autumn.

Mothercare's share price was down 8.05% to 257 pence at 09:16 BST today.