// Mothercare items to be sold in Boots stores from summer 2019
// The exclusive deal with Boots secures Mothercare’s future in the UK for 5 years
// Mothercare’s 79 UK stores still slated to close down after falling into administration last month
Mothercare has signed an exclusive deal with Boots to make sure its maternity and early childhood products will still be sold in the UK after all its stores close down.
In a statement, the two retailers confirmed that Boots will start stocking Mothercare-branded products from the end of next summer.
The news comes just over a month since Mothercare put its UK operations into administration, plunging 2500 jobs into uncertainty with the impending closure of all 79 of its stores in the country.
- Mothercare losses continue as bosses fight “misperception” of business going bust
- Mothercare advances price cuts in push to close down
- Mothercare accelerates store closures with closing down sale
Mothercare’s administrations is part of a plan to reduce exposure to the struggling high street, and re-align its UK business with the rest of the world where it sells through partners.
The new partnership with Boots will see it stock Mothercare-branded clothing, home products, pushchairs and car seats.
A smaller range will also be available on the Boots website from the middle of next year, the two retailers said.
“In Boots, another much-loved British heritage brand, we believe that Mothercare has found the right home in the UK,” Mothercare chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said.
Boots already sells Mothercare’s Mini Club range, for 0 to two-year-olds, at its larger outlets.
The new deal will expand the partnership between the two retailers, and Boots will become the only place Brits can buy Mothercare clothes.
The deal has yet to be finalised, so it is not yet clear how many Boots stores will offer the clothes.
“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for the brand and the millions of Mothercare customers across the UK,” Newton-Jones said.
“It is also great news for Mothercare and our wider group of stakeholders after what has been a tough period.”
The latest development comes in the same week Mothercare reported another set of losses and declining sales in its half year report.
Newton-Jones revealed that as the maternity and early childhood retailer tried to cut costs last year – scaling back to only 80 stores from 250 stores in 2014 – customers thought Mothercare was disappearing from the high street entirely.
“As we reduced the store estate, we did not see sufficient trade transfer to the remaining stores or move online,” he said earlier this week.
Newton-Jones added that as Mothercare was strapped for cash last year, it was not able to advertise effectively to correct that misconception.
He also said the retailer had tried to find a new owner and had plenty of interest, but shortlisted retailers did not want to take on the shops, warehouse infrastructure or the Mothercare head office.
with PA Wires