Mamas & Papas closes six stores and cuts nearly 130 jobs

Mamas & Papas closes six stores and cuts nearly 130 jobs

Mamas & Papas is closing six shops and and cutting nearly 130 jobs just days after the collapse of its rival Mothercare.

The Huddersfield-based baby and maternity retailer collapsed into administration on Friday and was immediately bought back by other companies controlled by Bluegem Capital, its private equity owner.

The arrangement, which allows a failing company to ditch some of its debts, is called a pre-pack administration. The business will continue to trade from 26 shops, preserving more than 600 jobs.

A spokesman for the company said the appointment of administrators from Deloitte was not linked to Mothercare’s collapse earlier this week. Mamas & Papas, which was founded in 1981, is a major supplier to Mothercare but is understood to have limited its debts to the retailer. Mothercare, began a closing down sale at all of its 79 UK stores on Friday.

Quick guide

UK high street woes

High street closures in 2019

Thousands of high street jobs have been lost this year as a result of high profile retail administrations and thousands more are at risk as Mothercare, Debenhams and Forever 21 prepare for closures. Here are some of the key industry names that have been affected.

Mothercare: Has 79 stores and 2,500 UK retail staff as its British arm prepares to go into administration.

Regis/Supercuts: Had 220 salons and 1,200 staff when it went into administration in October.

Bonmarché: Had 318 stores and 2,887 employees when it went into administration in October. It is still trading as it seeks a buyer.

Watt Brothers: The Scottish department chain had 11 stores and 306 employees when it went into administration in October. All the stores closed and the majority of jobs have gone.

Links of London: With 35 stores and 350 staff, the jewellery chain went into administration on 8 October but its sites are still trading.

Forever 21: Had three stores and about 290 employees in the UK when it went into administration in September. Stores are staying open in order to clear stock.

Albemarle & Bond: Suddenly shut all its 116 stores in September with the loss of about 400 jobs, even though it did not call in administrators. It sold its pledge books to rival H&T in September.

Karen Millen and Coast: Had 32 stores and 177 concessions, employing 1,100 people, when it went into administration in August. All sites were closed and the vast majority of staff made redundant after the brands were bought out by online specialist Boohoo.com.

Jack Wills: Had about 100 stores and 1,700 staff in the UK when went into administration in August. Bought by Sports Direct and 98 stores are still trading in the UK and Ireland.

Spudulike: Closed all 37 stores with the loss of about 300 jobs when it went into administration in August.

Bathstore: Had 132 stores and 529 staff when it went into administration in June. Homebase bought 44 stores saving 154 jobs and the brand now trades from 28 stores.

Select: Had 180 stores and 2,000 employees when the fashion retailer went into administration in May. In June administrators at advisory firm Quantuma carried out a CVA closing 11 stores with the loss of about 200 jobs.

Debenhams: Had 166 department stores and more than 25,000 employees when went into administration in April. No store closed immediately and the chain is now owned by its lenders but two will close before Christmas and another 20 in January when the group completes a rescue restructure expected to result in the loss of 1,200 jobs.

Pretty Green: Had 12 stores and about 170 employees when Liam Gallagher’s fashion outlet went into administration in March. All but one store and 33 concessions closed with 100 jobs lost but 67 saved as the brand was bought by JD Sports in April.

Office Outlet: All 94 stores have closed with the loss of 1,170 jobs after the stationery retailer went into administration in March.

LK Bennett: Had 41 stores and 500 employees when it went into administration in March. The brand was bought by its Chinese franchise partner, Rebecca Feng, saving 21 stores, all the group’s concessions and 325 jobs. But more than 100 jobs lost with the closure of 15 stores.

Patisserie Valerie: Had 200 cafes employing nearly 3,000 people when an accounting scandal prompted the chain to call in administrators in January. About 70 of the group’s 200 stores closed immediately with the loss of 900 jobs. About 2,000 jobs were saved when about 100 Patisserie Valerie cafes were rescued by Causeway Capital, more than 20 of which have since closed. 21 Philpotts sandwich shops were bought by AF Blakemore & Son. and four Baker & Spice cafes a were bought by the Department of Coffee & Social Affairs. Sarah Butler


Photograph: Jill Mead
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Riccardo Cincotta, the executive chairman of Mamas & Papas, said the store closures and administration were “necessary in a challenging market” to ensure the company is able to realise “its considerable future potential”.

He said Mamas & Papas would continue to review its store portfolio in the light of changing shopper behaviour, but remained “fully focussed on maintaining our position as the UK’s most popular nursery brand”.

“Our digital performance is tracking ahead of expectation, our wholesale distribution in the UK and internationally continues to grow,” he said.

The administration comes five years after Mamas & Papas cut rents via an insolvency process known as a company voluntary arrangement, after Bluegem took control of the business.

The latest difficulties at Mamas & Papas also come just just a few months after Sports Direct bought Bluegem’s Jack Wills young fashion chain out of administration.

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