Mamas & Papas goes into pre-packed administration – is a store closing near you?

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Children and baby chain giant, Mamas & Papas have announced they are going into pre-packed administration only days after Mothercare announced their buisness bust. 

Mamas & Papas chief executive Riccardo Cincotta said: “These actions are always difficult but they are also necessary in a challenging market to ensure Mamas & Papas achieves its considerable future potential.

“We remain fully focused on maintaining our position as the UK’s most popular nursery brand.

“We will continue to review our store portfolio in the light of customers’ changing behaviour and we remain fully committed to an omni-channel offering that reflects their evolving needs.”

Bluegem Capital has owned Mamas & Papas since 2014. They have already bought the company assets back through a pre-packed administration which will cut some of its financial liabilities.

The administration is the second retail failure for Bluegem, which was the previous owner of Jack Wills before it collapsed into administration and was bought by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct in August.

The company, which had 27 stores and three concessions, said its remaining stores will continue to trade as normal, as well as online.

The pre-packed administration came after the business was put under pressure as its target market moved online and high street footfall continued to decline.

However, it has announced plans to ‘simplify’ operations at its head office in Huddersfield, which could lead to further job losses.

Mamas & Papas was founded in 1981 in Huddersfield by David and Luisa Scacchetti and rapidly grew but was bought by Bluegem after a restructuring process five years ago.

Marco Capello, managing partner at Bluegem Capital, said: “As long-term owners of the business, we remain fully committed to supporting Mamas & Papas on its growth journey.

“The business now has a solid platform from which to achieve this ambition, so we can look forward to the future with confidence.”

Rival brand, Mothercare, announced its collapse on Monday.

This lead to the closure of 79 stores in the UK and a loss of 2,800 jobs.

The baby brands seem to be the most recent casualties of the downturn on UK high street economy which has seen several British brands close its doors this year.

It has been revealed that the board of the company is in close contact with the administrators regarding the administration processes and is finalising agreements with various stakeholders to secure additional financing to underpin the next steps to preserve the group’s financial position and future as a solvent group.

It is expected that Mothercare’s shares will remain admitted to the Official List and to trading on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, as the company has sufficient cash resources to meet its current operating requirements.

Clive Whiley, Chairman of Mothercare commented: “It is with deep regret and sadness that we have been unable to avoid the administration of Mothercare UK and Mothercare Business Services, and we fully understand the significant impact on those UK colleagues and business partners who are affected.

“However, the Board concluded that the administration processes serve the wider interests of ensuring a sustainable future for the Company, including the wider Group’s global colleagues, its pension fund, lenders and other stakeholders.

“The UK high street is facing a near existential problem with intensifying and compounding pressures across numerous fronts, most notably the high levels of rent and rates and the continuing shifts in consumer behaviour from high street to online.

“Mothercare UK is far from immune to these headwinds despite the strength of the Mothercare brand, its exclusive and quality product range and recognised customer service.

“Despite the changes implemented over the last 18 months, contributing to a significant reduction in net debt over the same period, Mothercare UK continues to consume cash on an unsustainable basis.

“The action announced today has been carefully thought through and without it, the existence of the wider Group would be threatened.

“We know it is right for the wider Group to ensure that Mothercare remains the leading global brand for parents and young children with a bright and solvent future within the international franchise business.”

A further announcement will be made in due course.



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