It has not been an easy year at Mothercare for Mark Newton-Jones, as he was forced to make 200 redundancies across the head office in November to become “more specialist and robust” in the tough market. Then came the announcement a couple of weeks later that Mothercare had slipped into the red, making an adjusted loss before tax of £700,000 for the six months to 7 October 2017, despite UK sales rising 2.5% to £229m.
But Newton-Jones was adament that under his leadership Mothercare’s turnaround plan is on track: 75% of stores are now modelled around the brand’s new “club” format, and online sales were up 57% for the period worldwide.
Despite the difficulties at Mothercare, as chairman of Graduate Fashion Week, Newton-Jones orchestrated another great event this year, celebrating rising fashion talent, and has announced a new mentoring scheme for next year. Called Protégé Project, it will provide long-term support for designers.