National nursery retailer, Mothercare, has this week begun closing its doors for the last time, with the 79th and final store to cease trading at close of play this Sunday, 19th Jan. As the age of Mothercare comes to an end, these final closures are set to leave 2,500 staff members without jobs as well as thousands of customers unsure as to where they should now shop.
It’s no secret that the high-street has been struggling for a while now, and though the government are looking to invest funding to improve the UK’s retail sector, fast action needs to be taken in order to save it.
Mothercare’s recent store closures have only highlighted further, the very tentative time that the retail industry is currently living through, with many retailers feeling the squeeze. Many argue that the world of digital means the demand for in store experience simply isn’t there any more, there’s certainly enough evidence to suggest that the demand from parents wanting to trial pushchairs, feel the softness of baby grows and carry a car seat to find their own preference is still great. Because of this, the market is hungrier than ever for a futuristic retailer that can combine in-store and online to fill the void that Mothercare can no longer provide.
In November, Dewsbury-based independent nursery retailer, Kiddies Kingdom made a nine-point proposal to the administrators at Mothercare. Though comprised of several components, a key focus was to explore the option of taking over the retailer’s best performing stores across the UK. After assessing the commercials, Director of Kiddies Kingdom, Mohammed Patel explains: “Although there was some value in taking over existing locations, it makes more commercial sense for us to start from a blank canvas and build 21st century showrooms in strategic locations, which deliver an omni channel experience.”
Years of experience have highlighted the value that customers put behind their purchasing experience and Kiddies Kingdom’s progressive plans to be the nation’s ‘go-to’ retailer for nursery products places this at the forefront of their strategy, having recently opened up conversations with regards to expanding even further.
Mohammed Patel continues: “We are an ambitious and forward thinking business, and believe we have the right ingredients to become the ‘go-to’ point for baby shopping. Although Mothercare have recently struck a deal with Boots to keep their brand alive in the UK, the true value of Mothercare was not its own branded products but its retail presence, giving consumers a national outlet for baby shopping. This no longer remains, and we will strive to fill it. Whilst others pull investment off the high-street, we will do the opposite and invest in it on a national scale. We understand how customers want to shop and we will fill that void over the next few years, with the launch of state of the art flagship showrooms which will be located in major cities across the spine of the UK. By delivering an end to end experience, we will be creating a hub that customers are longing for.”
Kiddies Kingdom was established 35 years ago, retails online and has a hugely successful flagship showroom located in Dewsbury. This is an exciting time for the retailer as it looks to strive to implement innovative processes throughout the customer journey in order to revolutionise the way consumers shop for baby products, ultimately increasing the footfall for Britain’s highstreets.