Another iconic British shopping brand has ended, 59 years after it was founded.
All Mothercare shops in the UK will be closed by the end of today (January 12). Apparently Mothercare International still trades profitably.
The loss means yet another gap in the market, although some Mothercare products will continue to be sold by Boots.
Is this the start of the new post-Brexit Golden Age that Boris Johnson has been bleating about?
Who will fill the gap?
Some US-based (or also foreign) online firm, I would expect. That is the way retail is going, after all.
And the Tory government, that has consistently failed to support UK brands, has nothing to say. Isn’t that typical?
Isn’t it their way to sell UK assets to foreign countries and organisations, and let foreign firms take all our money – while stirring up jingoism against foreigners?
Collapsed retailer Mothercare will disappear from the high street on Sunday after nearly six decades in business.
The health, beauty and baby product chain will see all 79 of its stores closed by Sunday, with 2,500 jobs lost across the country.
After 59 years in the business, Mothercare went into administration last year after struggling to compete with online shopping.
Source: Mothercare shuts up shop after nearly 60 years in business | The Independent
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I have no time for the Tories at all – scum the lot of them – but I don’t think closures like this can be entirely blamed on them. Of course things like business rates don’t help retailers, but you can hardly blame the Tories for the rise of online shopping. We have to look at why people don’t want to go into town and city centres to shop like they used to, and many of these things predate 2010 never mind the most recent election.
For one thing you have the “chuggers” – people with clipboards harassing you to sign up to direct debits to support some charity or other. It’s a crap job and I feel sorry for the people doing it, but it still puts me off going into town. Then there’s the difficulty of getting there in the first place. Public transport in this country has been a bad joke for decades now, driving anywhere takes forever and parking is a ripoff if you can find a space at all. Nothing new there, and you put up with it when there was no alternative, but now you can order online and have stuff delivered, why bother with it. Then of course there’s the British weather, as unreliable as it’s ever been. Who likes getting frozen and soaked when they don’t need to?
Then there’s something I can really get on my soapbox about, the lack of decent toilet facilities. The few public toilets that remain open are generally dirty, smelly places that get cleaned once or twice a day and that have either been vandalised extensively or stripped back to an unappealing minimum to deter such vandalism – nobody is going to convince me that 21st century technology can’t produce a proper toilet seat that is both hygienic and vandal proof. Public toilets need full time attendants to keep them clean and deter vandals, but when were such attendants common? A long, long time ago. You also need adequate policing, so that the toilet attendants can call on backup if they need it and know a constable will be there quickly, but since when have there been that many police around?
British towns have become uncivilised, unpleasant places over a course of many years now. The Tories haven’t helped; but then I don’t recall the last Labour (Red Tory…) government doing anything to halt the decline either. A complete change of direction is needed, the sort of thing Jeremy Corbyn might have delivered if the public hadn’t been so gullible as to believe all the same old Establishment lies.
I agree with you that the Mothercare closure can’t be entirely blamed on the government. Firms go into and out of business all the time (apart from banks, of course, which the government always supports) and that’s just a fact of economic life.
My problem is that the Tories would rather let domestic firms go to the wall and allow the people to “buy foreign”, so to speak, than encourage a vibrant economy here in the UK, despite the fact that historically, the UK has the best ideas – or at least the best ways of exploiting ideas – on the entire planet.
I do a lot of shopping online, myself. I would love to do it via UK companies – and do, when I can. It’s the way of the future for most commodities. And of course I run an online business which is actually – slowly – becoming successful. It can be done, even in the UK. But there’s no interest in supporting economic development at all from our laissez-faire Tories.
Personally, I think if we want people to go into our town and city centres, then we need to make it for quality-of-life purposes, rather than to buy essentials. But for that, they need disposable income and the Tories won’t let many of us have that.
And you’re right about New Labour doing nothing to stop the rot either. Same root cause: neoliberal economic policy.
Mothercare COULD have better adapted itself to the online age, but failed to do so.
Your point is more relevant to the Gas and Electrical supply all across the UK. The Tories in the early eighties under Thatcher ‘sold the family silver’ in the form of every possible utility they could in an effort to raise funds in the short term.
We were promised we could all hold a stake in British Gas, for example, and urged to ‘Tell Sid’ too. In the years after the issue the employees (who got preferential status if I remember) and MOP had their shares gradually hovered up and about 10 years ago, if memory serves, the last of the energy companies went from British ownership. ‘We’ don’t own it now and some future owner, if so minded, has us by the throat. Despite the possibility to change supplier it is still made awkward, espec for the poor, and made impossible for those with storage heaters (technically it’s NOT impossible, just exorbitant)
The short term needs of temporary politicians has brought us to where we are now, we can only survive on cheap Chinese imports of many goods due to our low wages and that which we DO make is owned by foreign countries seeing the profits and taxation even going elsewhere as they abuse our tax system with their group accounting.
However, with the help of those in the PLP, the people rejected the sanity of Corbyn’s offer and embraced The Madness of Boris…
I have covered the insanity of privatisation many times, of course.
With Mothercare (and others) I am trying to show how classic British brands are being destroyed and our money is instead having to be spent on goods from foreign firms, meaning that our money goes out of the UK economy, making the nation poorer. It is the same basic story as that of the privatised firms going to foreign organisations because that is what Tories do with our economy; they sell it to Johnny Foreigner.
And then they get all jingoistic and start sabre-rattling about how rotten Johnny Foreigner is. I’d call that two-faced.