Mothercare appoints David Wood as new chief executive

David Wood Image copyright Mothercare
Image caption Mr Wood takes over at Mothercare with immediate effect

Mothercare chief executive Mark Newton-Jones has stepped down and been replaced by David Wood, former group president of US grocer Kmart Holdings.

Mr Wood has also held a number of commercial, marketing and management positions at Tesco.

Mr Newton-Jones joined Mothercare as interim boss in March 2014 and as permanent chief from July that year.

The baby goods retailer, which releases latest trading figures next week, has had a troubled start to the year.

Last month, it warned on full-year profit, and the firm also experienced a sales slump over Christmas.

Shares in Mothercare were down nearly 3% in late morning trade in London, at 17.72 pence.

'Positive progress'

Mothercare's business that has come under pressure from weak footfall at retail destinations and competition from online sellers.

The company says that to get back on track, it has devised strategies on new store formats, online business and better product offering. It is also looking to reduce central costs.

"We have made positive progress, but it is essential that we have the most effective leadership in place to meet our ambitions," chairman Alan Parker said in the statement.

Mr Wood said his immediate focus was to ensure Mothercare was put back on a sound financial footing and to "deliver a successful plan to improve performance".

In March, Mothercare warned that annual profits were likely to be near the bottom of its forecast £1m-£5m range.

The retailer also said then that it would cut its store numbers from 140 to 80 in response to the trend to online shopping, which now makes up 42% of its revenue.

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