Britain's children and baby products retailer Mothercare move puts at risk more than 2,000 jobs. The 58-year-old global brand's 79 British stores have been bleeding cash for years.

Mothercare's 79 stores in the UK lost $46.9 million last year.
Mothercare's 79 stores in the UK lost $46.9 million last year. (Tolga Akmen / AP)

Britain's children and baby products retailer Mothercare said on Monday it was putting its loss-making UK business into administration at a risk of more than 2,000 jobs.

The 58-year-old global brand's 79 British stores have been bleeding cash for years.

Mothercare in March reported making a profit of $36.6 million (£28.3 million, 32.8 million euros) from more than 1,000 stores it has worldwide.

Its UK operations lost £36.3 million in the same fiscal year.

The company said it has been holding fruitless talks with partners about its struggling domestic operations since May 2018. It already closed 55 stores last year. 

"It has become clear that (its UK stores) are not capable of returning to a level of structural profitability and returns that are sustainable for the group as it currently stands and/or attractive enough for a third party partner," Mothercare said in a statement.

"Furthermore, the company is unable to continue to satisfy the ongoing cash needs of Mothercare UK." 

Mothercare's stock price fell 29 percent to 8.01 pence in morning trading.

The company stressed that its British operations "will be free to continue to trade in the normal course of business" and made no reference to future jobs. 

Financial analysts have blamed Mothercare's problems on its slow development of online operations and unsuccessful marketing campaigns.

A number of historic British brands have been forced to shutter stores due to competition from big-box retailers and online giants such as Amazon.

Their restructuring efforts have been hampered by a limited appetite by investors to bet big on Britain due to uncertainty over the Brexit crisis.

Source: AFP