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January 27, 2020

Mothercare made it too easy for non-specialists to steal shoppers

By GlobalData Retail

Ahead of Mothercare’s demise at the end of 2019, the baby retailer was losing customers to competitors that offered greater choice and affordability. Mothercare made two fatal errors: it did not successfully promote its specialist credentials, which would have justified its higher price points, and the retailer struggled to transition customers online as it slimmed down its store estate.

58.2% of Mothercare shoppers switched from the retailer that they regularly purchase baby and children’s clothing, equipment and toys from in the past two years (though they may not have stopped shopping at Mothercare altogether). The most popular reason for switching was to access a greater range of brands (47.3%), followed by lower prices (42.3%) and greater product choice (36.2%).

Less than one-fifth of those that switched cited the closure of their local Mothercare store as a motivation, indicating that the vast majority of shoppers could find what they were looking for elsewhere.

Non-specialists offering low prices have benefitted the most from Mothercare’s demise: 30.4% of Mothercare shoppers stated that they frequently purchase baby and children’s items from supermarkets, while 23.8% regularly opt for online general merchandisers such as Amazon.

Department stores such as John Lewis and Next, which offer a wide range of both branded and ownbrand products, will also have stolen shoppers looking for greater choice.