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Mothercare posts Q1 sales growth

Mothercare has reported 1.9% growth in UK like-for-like sales for the 15 weeks to 8 July.

The retailer attributed this to entering the end of season Sale with “lower stocks” and achieving a “higher sell-through rate”.

Online sales increased by 3.3% during the quarter. However, total UK sales dipped by 1.8% compared with last year, which Mothercare said reflected its ongoing store closure programme.

Internationally, retail sales were down 8.3% in constant currency but up 2.2% in actual currency. This was put down to the “challenging” market in the Middle East.

Mothercare opened 26 stores and closed 43 during the period, ending the quarter with around 2.9 million sq.ft with 1,133 stores.

Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive at Mothercare, said: “We have continued to make progress in the UK during the period. We have seen customers respond well to our end of season Sale, which we entered with less stock than last year, and are achieving a higher sell through rate. Whilst online sales recorded a lower growth, in contrast to higher sales growth in store, we don’t believe this represents an underlying permanent shift in customer behaviour. We are about to launch our autumn ranges, but it remains uncertain how consumers will respond to inflation.

“In our international business, the challenging economic conditions in the Middle East continue and are impacting overall performance, and so the outlook remains volatile. We continue to export our learnings from the UK as our business improves here, to support our partners with the modernisation of their franchise businesses, and see further opportunities for growth both online and in stores.

“We remain firmly focused on our strategy, both here in the UK and internationally. Our vision remains clear: to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children.”

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