Mothercare store is set to close at the end of January

Mothercare in Clacton. Picture: Googel Streetview

Mothercare in Clacton. Picture: Googel Streetview - Credit: Archant

A branch of Mothercare will be closing in the coming weeks, leaving another gap in the High Street which might not be easy to replace.

A member of staff at the Mothercare store on Pier Avenue in Clacton confirmed that the store would be closing at the end of January.

“Unfortunately it’s the way these days, especially in Clacton,” she said.

Mothercare is closing down 50 “underperforming” stores in all, including those in Maidstone, Salisbury, Newport in Wales and Yeovil in Somerset, as well as in Clacton.

The Mothercare store at Copdock in Ipswich, which is the chain’s only store in Suffolk, is currently set to remain open.

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The store closures are being carried out through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) - which allows companies to close loss-making shops and secure rental discounts.

In November, Mothercare claimed that negative press coverage in the past year had damaged its brand, causing sales in the UK to decline.

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For the half-year to 6 October, the retailer reported a pre-tax loss of £14.4million Mothercare began an extensive closing down sale in Clacton in December, which it is continuing until all the stock is gone.

The loss of Mothercare is the latest in a series of blows for Clacton, as both Marks and Spencer and Claire’s Accessories have also recently left the town centre.

While some Clacton residents say that Mothercare is too expensive for many in the town, Antonina Mitchell argues that Mothercare is not expensive. “I am expecting my first grandchild and think it’s priced fine for what it is on the clothes front. My daughter has got loads from there.”

Clacton councillor Alex Porter blames Clacton’s retail problems on parking. “It’s no surprise Clacton’s Mothercare is earmarked for closure as the council’s obsession with removing parking and replacing it with bus stops has driven down trade,” he said. “Clacton will have no major retailers in the town soon whilst out of town shopping centres with parking thrive.

“M&S has moved to where people can park. Businesses understand the problem but the council refuse to accept what the problem is.

“Frinton is thriving being one of the few towns in the country that has kept all on street parking and no buses are allowed. Frinton even bans vans from parking!”

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