Mothercare, the specialist retailer of mother-and-baby products, has reported a wider loss for the fiscal year ending March 27, 2021, as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The company stated a statutory loss of £21.5 million, compared to £8.5 million in the previous year. Furthermore, Mothercare experienced a significant decline in revenue, with £85.8 million compared to £164.7 million the previous year, as the pandemic heavily impacted its operations.

Despite these challenges, Mothercare remains hopeful about the future. The company has transformed its business model, becoming a brand-owner that franchises out its retail operations. It sees strong growth opportunities in new markets, as it is currently not represented in seven of the top 10 baby markets in the world. Mothercare plans to expand its brand reach through wholesale, licensing, and online marketplaces.

A crucial step for Mothercare in the UK was establishing Boots as its local franchise partner. This allowed the Mothercare brand to be available in Boots stores and online starting from Autumn 2020. The company believes that this partnership will contribute to its growth in the UK market.

Despite the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, Mothercare is confident in its ability to continue operating as a going concern. While the company acknowledges the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it stated that the going concern issue would only arise if trading conditions were to deteriorate beyond its current models and if it couldn’t implement further cost or cash management programs. Mothercare remains focused on minimizing the impact on its operations and those of its franchise partners and anticipates a significant improvement in operating profits for the current year.

Regarding current trading, Mothercare estimates that over 80% of its global retail locations operated by franchise partners are now open. However, the company highlights the challenges in key markets such as Russia, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia due to the impact of Covid-19 on customer footfall and confidence.

In the first 13 weeks of the new financial year, Mothercare’s franchise partners recorded total retail sales of £94 million, generating an adjusted EBITDA of approximately £2.5 million. Despite the difficulties faced in the previous financial year, Chairman Clive Whiley expressed optimism about the future. He noted that the company has made significant progress in transforming the group and expects further progress in 2022. Mothercare aims to optimize its global brand presence over the next five years and looks to the future with great optimism, having established a robust and efficient platform with numerous growth opportunities.

Useful links:
– For more information about Mothercare’s products and services, visit their official website: Mothercare Official Website.
– For insights and updates on the latest trends in the mother-and-baby industry, visit BabyCenter.