Troubled nursery retailer Mamas & Papas is vying to reduce store costs via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and is in discussions with landlords of 60 of its stores.
The retailer, which sold a majority stake to private equity firm Blue Gem last month, blamed the “persistently tough trading environment” for the move. It follows a strategic review of the business earlier this year. Deloitte is overseeing the CVA, which will be voted on by landlords on September 10.
Mamas & Papas chairman David Scacchetti said: “While our international and wholesale businesses are performing strongly, the UK retail environment is the toughest I’ve experienced in the 30 years since we founded Mamas & Papas and it has become clear that we need to take action if we are to maintain our proud position as a brand trusted by parents across the world.”
“We believe the proposals announced today will create a platform to allow us to continue offering innovative, premium products to customers in the UK and internationally, both in stores and online.”
Mamas & Papas, which appointed retail veteran Derek Lovelock as its interim boss last week, said that a consultation process has begun with its staff to “improve the operational efficiency” of the company.
Scacchetti said he was confident it was taking the “steps necessary to protect the Mamas & Papas brand and help it to achieve its potential in the future.”
It was the first time the nursery specialist, set up by husband and wife team David and Luisa Scacchetti, had sold a stake in the firm.
Mamas & Papas international stores are unaffected by the CVA.
The UK mother and baby has been in a state of turmoil over the few years. Market leader Mothercare is amid a turnaround in the UK, where pre-tax losses hit £21.5m in its full year to March 29, and grocer Morrisons sold Kiddicare to turnaround firm Endless for £2m. Endless is expected to close all of Kiddicare’s stores, which would result in mass redundancies.