Its sad news for the industry as Mothercare announced it would be appointing administrators for Mothercare UK and Mothercare Business Services. It doesn’t include Mothercare’s overseas operations, which includes more than 1,000 stores in more than 40 countries and generates more than £500m in revenues. These will continue to trade.

A phased closure of all its UK stores will begin, with their attention being focused on helping employees and keeping the stores trading for as long as possible. The future for most employees however looks grim, as they face the prospect of losing their jobs just before Christmas.

This has been on the cards for some time as the UK arm of Mothercare has been steadily losing money, posting a £36.9m loss for the financial year to March 2109. Closing the most unprofitable stores depressed sales but it appears to be insufficient to enable the UK business to be profitable.

Attempts to find a buyer have also proved unsuccessful.

Some of our suppliers could find themselves in difficulty if they have significant debts with the chain and the closure of so many stores will inevitably drive customers into the likes of Amazon. However, it does provide opportunity for our independents who together with stores such as John Lewis, Mamas & Papas and JoJo Maman Bebe, now provide the only bricks and mortar nursery stores.

Let’s hope that this isn’t the last we see of this well-loved brand.