Mother and baby products retailer Mothercare saw its shares fall more than 13 per cent on Monday after it admitted stock availability difficulties following a move to a new warehouse.

In the past three weeks, underlying retail sales were down 5-6 per cent, as initial productivity problems led to stock congestion in its East Midlands warehouse.

The company said that stock availability in stores was now about 30 per cent lower than at a similar time last year and revealed the difficulties had affected larger nursery and transport items more than clothing and toys.

Officials said they had contingency plans in place to resolve the problems, but expected difficulties to continue for another two to three weeks.

Shares in the company fell from 293p to 254p, as the stock difficulties overshadowed a generally upbeat trading statement on Monday.

For the 26 weeks to September 28 sales rose 9.6 per cent and like-for-like sales increased 7.6 per cent.

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