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Ecommerce sales fall at Mothercare as it moves away from discounting

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Mothercare this week reported falling online sales in response to a move away from discounting. While sales were lower, it said, they were also more profitable since more were made at full price.

The maternity to nursery equipment retailer said online sales for home delivery were down by 6.4% in the 15 weeks to July 12, compared to the same period last year, while total UK sales fell by 1.2% at a time when space reduced by 2.4%. Given that decline in space, UK like-for-like sales were up by 0.9%.

Total group sales fell by 1.8% over the period, while international retail sales rose by 0.8%, or 14.7% when currency fluctuations were discounted. International space grew by 13.3% at the same time.

The update came as new chief executive Mark Newton-Jones formally took over the role. He said he was looking forward to leading the turnaround of the business. He said: “Mothercare and Early Learning Centre are two iconic UK retail brands which have both developed into significant international businesses, serving parents and young children in 60 countries. We now need to put in place the building blocks to strengthen the UK performance and I believe there is then a tremendous opportunity to take this business forward.”

He said the company would concentrate on four themes as it modernised and invested in the business, including improving online and store service. Other priorities include reducing costs while generating cash, rebuilding profit margins and improving products.

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