JOBS could be lost at a Reading department store after retailer Mothercare announced it is closing more than 50 of its stores nationwide.

The struggling high street chain, which employs around 3,000 people across the UK, announced this morning that it is to close around a third of its stores, bringing its portfolio of branches from 137 to 78.

The first 50 shops are expected to close within a year, with more to follow as part of a company restructuring.

Reading is home to two branches of the baby retailer: one in King Street, and another in Vastern Court retail park. Mothercare has not yet announced which of its stores it intends to close, or how many jobs will be lost.

Mothercare is the latest in a long list of retailers to announce closures this year, following Toys R Us, Maplin, and New Look.

Clive Whiley, the Company's Interim Executive Chairman, said: "‎The recent financial performance of the business, impacted in particular by a large number of legacy loss making stores within the UK estate, has resulted in an unsustainable situation for the Mothercare brand, meaning the Group was in clear need of an appropriate resolution. Since my appointment as Interim Executive Chairman, my priority has been to galvanise support from all of our stakeholders and provide a solution to the short-term problems facing the Company.

"These comprehensive measures provide a renewed and stable financial structure for the business and will drive a step change in Mothercare's transformation. The potential for the Mothercare brand in the UK, benefitting from a restructured store estate, and internationally remains significant. However, there remains much to do and we must maintain a disciplined focus on cost control and cash generation throughout the business, but these measures provide a solid platform from which to reposition the Group and begin to focus on growth, both in the UK and internationally."