'No imminent plans to close Mothercare Bexleyheath', says company representative
PUBLISHED: 11:52 08 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:52 08 June 2017
They've stated the change in usage was applied for, by the company itself
A spokesperson from Mothercare has stated that the company made the application to Bexley council to change to use of the premises in Bexleyheath.
On May 2, Savills Estate Agents applied for a change of use, of the premises on 11-15 Market Place, from retail class A1 to restaurant class A3.
The statement, from Mothercare, said: “There are no imminent plans to close the Mothercare Bexleyheath store. Mothercare has made a speculative application to the local authority to broaden the existing class of usage for the space. This is common practice to maintain future flexibility for the premises.”
A spokesperson for Savills, previously said: “The application was sent on behalf of another person or company, and we actually aren’t sure exactly what type of restaurant it’ll be turned into yet. We’re also not able to say when Mothercare will close. But once we are updated, we will let you know.”
The application proposes that the premise change will result in the creation of the equivalent of 32 full-time jobs.
Speculation has flown about whether the Mothercare in the town centre would close, especially as the application came weeks after the company’s chief executive, Mark Newton-Jones announced the “second phase” of store closures, on May 18.
He said: “In the UK our store numbers will continue to reduce to between 80 and 100 as we focus on a regional presence in key conurbations. We are clear that the role of our store network is to support our digitally led approach to providing specialist face to face service and advice along with first class product presentation. We will no longer sell ranges in the UK for older children in either clothing or toys.
“Over time, this simpler approach will lead to a leaner, more agile business resulting in more stable and sustainable cash flows. We are moving the mothercare brand forward and becoming more relevant to our modern customers.”
The closures mean Mothercare will close approximately 70 of its 152 stores and have stated it’s part of a ‘six pillar’ plan to restore the company, which three years ago reported loses of £25m.
Bexleyheath Business Improvement District have been contacted for comment.