Staff at Mothercare’s Watford-based head office are at risk of possible redundancy, reports the Watford Observer, the company informed personnel on Monday that it was starting a 30-day consultation over plans to reduce costs at its head-quarters.
158 jobs are at risk, ninety-eight of which are based in the UK office; a further sixty positions in consultation are overseas.
On the Wednesday (14th March 2012) of the same week, a number of new E-commerce related positions were advertised on a Mothercare website, providing further evidence that the 50 year-old nursery and clothing firm sees its future as an online retailer rather than a high street chain.
During February the appointment of Simon Calver, from the Amazon-owned internet company LOVEFiLM, as CEO was a clear indication of Mothercare’s online intentions. The firm is also conducting a store closure programme, which includes eighty branches of its Early Learning Centre toy shops. Calver, officially takes his new post on 30th April.
While new positions are advertised as closing to applications on 14th April 2013, they are considered to be genuine; and the date published an egregious error.
Mothercare issued a statement to the Watford Observer saying: “As part of the ongoing structural review process, Mothercare has reviewed its head office functions and identified opportunities to simplify the structure and decrease the central cost base.
“Following an internal announcement to staff, some of our head office staff will be entering a consultation process that will last 30 days.
“We will be working closely with affected employees to support them through this process. This announcement does not affect store staff.”
Informer: Toy World