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Mothercare kicks off closing down sale

Photograph: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Mothercare is launching a closing down sale with nearly all products “dramatically reduced” as it prepares to close all its 79 stores and its website in the UK.

The baby and maternity retailer is to begin clearing stock with the sale on Friday after appointing administrators from the advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers on Tuesday, who are to close down its UK retail arm with the loss of more than 2,800 jobs within the next few months. Jobs at Mothercare’s warehouse and call centres – which are outsourced to other companies – are also at risk.

The administration will not include Mothercare’s profitable overseas operations, which have more than 1,000 stores in more than 40 countries, all run via franchise agreements. Only 50 UK head office staff will remain to deal with running the international business.

The company said any product warranties or guarantees would remain valid and customers should spend any gift cards as soon as possible in the UK. Gift cards will no longer be available to purchase.

A spokesman for Mothercare said: “This is a great opportunity for customers to pick up some amazing deals as everything is reduced. Demand will be high so don’t wait to grab a fantastic deal, especially if you’re Christmas shopping. We’d also like to thank our customers for their historic support of the Mothercare brand.”

The company, which opened its first store in 1961 and has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1972, has been under pressure for years as families have been attracted by cheap supermarket alternatives and the rise of online shopping.