TROUBLED baby store Mothercare has confirmed the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as administrators putting 2,500 jobs at risk.

A 'phased closure' will now take place over the coming weeks and months of all 79 stores.

It said that having taken insolvency and legal advice, the board has 'decided that there was no reasonable alternative but to appoint administrators'.

Clive Whiley, chairman of Mothercare, said: "It is with deep regret and sadness that we have been unable to avoid the administration of Mothercare UK and Mothercare Business Services, and we fully understand the significant impact on those UK colleagues and business partners who are affected.

"However, the board concluded that the administration processes serve the wider interests of ensuring a sustainable future for the company, including the wider group's global colleagues, its pension fund, lenders and other stakeholders."

He added: "Despite the changes implemented over the last 18 months contributing to a significant reduction in net debt over the same period, Mothercare UK continues to consume cash on an unsustainable basis.

"The action announced today has been carefully thought through and without it, the existence of the wider group would be threatened."

The joint administrators will continue to trade the UK business and have appointed Gordon Brothers as agents to provide an experienced retail team to work in partnership with the head office, store and divisional teams. 

In the meantime, the international franchise partners will continue to trade the Mothercare overseas business as normal. 

Zelf Hussain, joint administrator and PwC partner, said:

“This is a sad moment for a well-known high street name. No-one is immune from the challenging conditions faced by the UK retail sector.

"Like many other retailers, Mothercare has been hit hard by increasing cost pressures and changes in consumer spending.

“It’s with real regret that we have to implement a phased closure of all UK stores. Our focus will be to help employees and keep the stores trading for as long as possible.”