Mothercare will tomorrow reveal it has rehired former boss Mark Newton-Jones just over a month after he was sacked, in a surprise move which will see him take the helm of the troubled retailer as it embarks on a major restructuring.
The baby chain, which will lay out details of the overhaul in its results on Thursday, ditched Mr Newton-Jones as chief executive last month, with then-chairman Alan Parker having said although he had “done a good job, we think we can do even better going forward”.
Two weeks after that, Mr Parker was replaced in the chairman post by Clive Whiley. Reports suggested Mr Whiley had been a key player in pulling together a rescue deal and forming the restructuring plans.
It is thought that David Wood, the former Tesco executive who had replaced Mr Newton-Woods, will shift to another position with the group, although it was not clear what this role would be this evening.
The latest change at the top, first reported by Sky News, will be revealed alongside details of Mothercare’s substantial restructuring, which it is undertaking in a bid to avoid becoming the latest high street name to collapse into administration.
It is expected tomorrow to announce the closure of 50 stores, as part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), an insolvency process which allows companies to drive down rents at certain stores and shut underperforming sites.
The shuttering of those stores could trigger hundreds of job losses, adding to the growing number of retail positions to be slashed this year. Poundworld and House of Fraser are also currently in the middle of CVAs, while stalwarts such as Toys R Us have disappeared from the high street.
Mothercare confirmed a Sunday Telegraph report earlier this week that it would be tapping shareholders for cash as part of the measures.
It has also been also working with Rothschild, the investment bank, to explore other financing options, and KPMG has been in talks over its existing debt with HSBC and Barclays.