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Lincoln’s Early Learning Centre in store merger

A children’s store, which has been in Lincoln’s city centre for nearly two decades, will close this week, in a move which threatens employees’ jobs.

The Early Learning Centre, in Lincoln’s Waterside Shopping Centre, will close on Saturday, September 22.

It will then re-open inside the city’s Mothercare store, owned by the same company, in Lincoln’s St Mark’s retail park.

Staff at the closing branch are currently facing a consultation to decide if they are to keep their jobs, and may be assigned to nearby stores.

Mothercare Plc says the move is part of its plan to cut the number of Mothercare and Early Learning Centre outlets from 373 to 200 by March 2015.

A Mothercare spokesperson said; “We hope this has not upset any customers and that they will continue to shop at our Mothercare Lincoln store. Customers may also choose to shop via our website or from our catalogue.

“The store staff are in their consultation period, where re-deployment in a nearby store is the first option. We currently have no other information to give on the employees at this store.”

Lincoln’s Early Learning Centre branch has spent 18 years in the city. Lincoln’s Waterside Shopping Centre now has seven empty retail spaces.

The Early Learning Centre currently has 215 stores across the UK, and over 80 international stores in 19 countries across the world.