Mothercare has appointed interim boss Mark Newton-Jones as its permanent chief executive.

The maternity specialist said Newton-Jones, who has been in the interim role since March, will be appointed to the board on July 17.

Mothercare chairman Alan Parker said: “Mark has made a substantial difference to the UK business already in the four months he has been with us and is a first-class retailer with a highly successful track record.

“After a rigorous recruitment process, we have chosen a strong and experienced leader in Mark to drive the UK turnaround and take Mothercare’s international business from strength to strength in order to deliver significant value for our shareholders.”

Mothercare is undergoing a turnaround after a period of declining sales and profits as its UK business has struggled.

Prior to Mothercare, Newton-Jones was chief executive of Shop Direct Group for 10 years. He led a turnaround and transformation of the etailer, which owns fashion retailers such as He previously worked at Next where he spent 18 years and held a variety of senior retail roles.

Newton-Jones said: “I am very much looking forward to leading the Mothercare Group at such an important time in its development. 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.”

Mothercare has been the subject of two takeover bids from American maternity specialist Destination Maternity in the past week. Mothercare has so far rejected its offers, stating that it believed they undervalued the business.