Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Mamas & Papas to close stores in Reading and Northampton

Mamas & Papas will close its store at The Oracle shopping centre in Reading on January 25 and at the Sixfields retail park in Northampton on February 8, after it was unable to agree terms with landlords on the leases.

The Huddersfield-based nursery and maternity specialist said it is offering support to the 11 affected employees in Reading and eight in Northampton.

On September 10, Mamas & Papas Retail, the group’s UK retail subsidiary, entered a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with its landlords to address the rental costs of some of its loss-making stores.

“Negotiations with our landlords are continuing and the CVA process is due to conclude at the end of February,” said a spokesman.

It comes as Mama & Papas Holdings reported the group made an operating loss before depreciation and amortisation of £5.7m for the full year to March 30, 2014, compared to a profit of £5.3m in 2013.

Group turnover fell by 4% to £137.6m for the 52 weeks. Six months later the group’s UK retail business entered the CVA.

The group attributed the decline to its UK retail business which performed below expectations. Group gross profit fell from £55.5m to £47.9m year on year.

In July, private equity firm BlueGem took a majority stake in the retailer and in September, landlords agreed rent reductions of up to 50% at 30 of its stores.

Mamas & Papas chairman David Scacchetti said the retailer expects to explore new opportunities for revenue growth including potential new store locations and further international franchises.

“The directors consider that the trading environment is likely to remain challenging in the current financial year and exceptional costs associated with the CVA are likely to result in further losses in the current year,” he wrote in the document filed at Companies House.

“However approval of the CVA proposal significantly reduces the fixed cost of the UK store estate and the change of ownership has placed the company in a far stronger and more secure financial position which it is expected will see the company return to profitability in due course.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.