By Marcus Leach

Despite a surprise upturn in retail figures in March there was, on Thursday, a reminder that the high street still faces an uphill battle as Mothercare announced the closure of a further 111 stores.

Only last year the baby wear retailer announced that they would close 107 UK stores by March 2013, but following the latest announcement their store base will be reduced to 200 by March 2015.

"Since November, a significant amount of progress has been made across the business," said chairman Alan Parker.

"We launched a structural and operational review, appointed a new CEO, closed a significant number of underperforming stores and commenced a consultation programme to streamline our head office function.

"Today we have announced the framework of our decisive three-year strategy to restore the UK business back to profit and strengthen our foundations for growth."

Of the 200 stores to survive, 105 of them are High Street stores, the rest being made up of out-of-town stores.

While the firm's UK arm has struggled as consumers cut back on spending, its international business has expanded. Mothercare said it would accelerate its international growth, with more store openings planned.

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