Deathwatch: Mothercare to close a quarter of UK stores

retail deathwatch As you might have figured out from this story’s headline, Mothercare have announced that they will be closing a quarter of their UK stores over the next two years. The move is said to be part of a plan to reduce its high street presence although a mahoosive drop in profits might also be a contributing factor to it.

Pre-tax profits for the year up to 26 March were £8.8m, a big drop from the £32.5m profit announced a year ago. Which has got us wondering what the parents of younglings are doing instead – dressing their kids in rudimentary clothing fashioned from potato sacks and giving them toys carved from logs that they have gathered in the woods? No, they’re probably just wising up to the fact that Mothercare isn’t always the cheapest and the best.

mothercare-415x275Mothercare have said that by March 2013, they’ll have about 266 stores instead of the current 373, and are looking to concentrate more on out-of-town stores and their online and wholesale business. Thankfully for them, they’re still doing the business internationally and have said that sales abroad are up by 16.3% - which, to be honest, could mean anything.

Are you a Mothercare shopper? If so, what makes you keep going back there? And if you WERE a Mothercare shopper but aren’t any longer, what changed for you? Apart from, you know, your kids growing up and that.


  • brian
    I am expecting our first childd soon and have shopped at mothercare for clothes and bottles. prices seem quite competitive and it easy to get to their stores.
  • oliverreed
    Great timing, they just opened a new store in Peterborough. Although I don't see them as competitive I do hope Kiddicare haven't killed them off, KC is staffed with morons that would be better placed in a sports store.
  • ole
    Maybe they are simply cutting away the dead wood? Not like bitterwallet to be so sensationalist!!??
  • Cheesey
    Mothercare are way overpriced compared to the supermarkets. I don't understand why they don't price themselves closer - it's better to make £5 off lots of people than hope to make £10 from a few people.
  • EricTheViking
    Not sensationalist this time "The company also reported a slump in full-year profits as UK sales fell due to bad weather in the run-up to Christmas and increased competition."
  • Euan
    Interesting, since they actually have about the most convincing price promise I've seen - they will in-store match any non-auction-site internet price, as long as the internet company are in stock too. Which got me a £150ish car seat for £115...
  • Rich
    @Euan - 'Which got me a £150ish car seat for £115…' Doesn't that mean you paid more...?
  • bob
    Posted by Rich • May 18, 2011 at 11:54 am @Euan – ‘Which got me a £150ish car seat for £115…’ Doesn’t that mean you paid more…? How does it?
  • Emma
    I go to mothercare to look at things like baby equipment. I make Note of the model numbers and then go price compare online. I have bought a few things there, though the majority of their items seem overpriced.
  • James
    @Rich's post Rich is going to be Poor if he doesn't learn some basic math! lol
  • Euan
    @Rich. Car seat was about £150 in mothercare. I showed on phone that it was available on web at £115. I got it for that price. If you can somehow contrive that to mean I paid over the odds, er..... As an aside, the 'redlaser' app on the iphone is damnably useful for this sort of thing!
  • Nik
    Mothercare have opened a lot of stores that are just too small to carry a decent range of lines. Chuck up a few racks of clothes baby, a rack of maternity clothing, some shelves of nappies and feeding bottles, you've barely got space for half a dozen pushchairs and a cot. So people go in there, expecting to see a wide range of stuff but then find most of what they want to buy is unavailable instore. Their only choices are to go home and order it online, or spend ages queueing at the checkout for an assistant to basically order it online for them. It's not really a very compelling customer experience. No wonder that they're pulling back to their out of town stores, which are usually larger and where you stand an evens chance of actually walking out of the shop with the item you wanted (or something very similar).
  • klingelton
    last time i went into mothercare was in high wycombe. i have to say it was a pretty grim shopping experience - akin to one of those boutiquey type shops where the 80 year old can no longer bend down to pick things up leading to the floor being strewn with all mannar of small blouses and cardigans. the store was generally run down and unappealing and i don't remember there being any tunes, or if there was, it was a radio playing. basically for a kids store, it was pretty kid unappealing - aside from the broken xylophone on the counter that is. good riddence imho.

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