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Mamas & Papas closes stores to boost profits

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Mamas & Papas was founded in Huddersfield in 1981. Pic: M&P

Mamas & Papas has become Britain's second maternity chain in a matter of days calling managers as its owners try to navigate through increasing losses.

Bluegem Capital, which has owned Mamas & Papas since 2014, regained control of the retailer through prepackaged management.

The process allows Mamas & Papas, which also sells pushchairs and children's clothing, to reduce some of its financial liabilities, including six loss-making stores located in Aberdeen, Preston, Milton Keynes, Lincoln, Leamington and Fareham.

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Rival Mothercare UK was placed in the hands of administrators earlier this week.

A total of 73 employees lost their jobs.

Mamas & Papas said 21 stores remained, although 54 more workers were threatened by a continuous review of operations at its headquarters in Huddersfield.

The development adds the chain to a growing list of companies that were forced to run this year – and it will be just three days after the collapse of rival rival Mothercare's business in the UK.

All 79 Mothercare UK stores are expected to close, although it retains its London stock price for plc that has its lucrative international operations.

Over 2500 jobs will be put at risk by the disappearance of Mothercare UK.

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Sky News Business Correspondent Paul Kelso Analyzes Root of Mothercare Problems

The Mamas & Papas administration will be Bluegem's second retail “failure” of the year, which saw Jack Wills take over Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International in the early fall following a bankruptcy proceeding.

Mamas & Papas was established in 1981 by Luisa and David Scacchetti, who founded the business after the birth of their first daughter.

Riccardo Cincotta, CEO of Mamas & Papas, said: "These actions are always difficult, but they are also necessary in a challenging market to ensure that Mamas & Papas achieves its considerable future potential.

"We remain fully focused on maintaining our position as the UK's most popular daycare brand.

"We will continue to review our store portfolio in light of changing customer behavior and remain fully committed to an omni-channel offering that reflects their evolving needs.

"Our digital performance is up to expectations, our UK and international wholesale distribution continues to grow and our personal in-store shopping experience remains highly valued by our customers."

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