It had intended have 92 outlets by 2023, but has now accelerated its closure plans and will have just 73 by that year.
LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) - Britain's Mothercare, the struggling mother and baby products retailer, said it would close over a third of its stores as part of a survival plan that also sees the return of the chief executive who abruptly departed just five weeks ago. One of the parties concerned, the Pension Protection Fund, has already said it will support the plans.
The company confirmed it would reappoint the chief executive who left in April after poor Christmas trading and a profits warning.
Mark Newton-Jones was sacked by the then chairman Alan Parker - who has himself subsequently stepped down.
The man that had been brought in to replace him, David Wood, will now become managing director.
"The recent financial performance of the business, impacted in particular by a large number of legacy loss-making stores within the United Kingdom estate, has resulted in an unsustainable situation for the Mothercare brand, meaning the group was in clear need of an appropriate resolution".
As part of the restructuring, Mothercare also announced a refinancing package worth up to £113.5 million.
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'These comprehensive measures provide a renewed and stable financial structure for the business and will drive a step change in Mothercare's transformation'. The closures will leave it with 78 stores by 2020.
They have also had to contend with surging wage costs and eye-watering business rate hikes.
Shares in Mothercare, a popular British high street name, have lost more than two-thirds of their value this year and closed at 21.30 pence on Wednesday.
The voluntary move to slash costs will buy Mothercare time to continue trading and dodge adminisration, Simon Underwood, business recovery partner at accountancy firm Menzies LLP said.
"Allowing a business to continue trading and its existing management to retain control, CVAs are sometimes viewed as a more attractive option than other methods of insolvency, such as pre-pack administrations".
The CVA route, which allows firms to avoid insolvency or administration, has already been taken this year by fellow United Kingdom retail laggards - fashion chain New Look, floor coverings group Carpetright and department store group House of Fraser.