Mothercare woes deepen after Christmas sales plunge

Struggling chain blames ‘worrying’ fall in sales on tough consumer market and move to offer fewer discounts

Mothercare’s problems continued over the key festive trading period as the retailer blamed a sharp fall in sales on a tough consumer backdrop and its decision to offer fewer discounts than a year earlier.

The struggling baby and maternity chain said sales at UK stores open for more than a year fell by 11.4% in the 13 weeks to 5 January, while online sales tumbled by 16.3%.

Maplin, Toys R Us and Jacques Vert have all collapsed in recent months, but several retailers and restaurant groups are facing financial problems and are trying to close stores or negotiate rent cuts.

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