Mothercare online sales grow by 22%, with in-store ecommerce sales up by 36%
Mobile has driven fast growth in ecommerce sales at Mothercare, with visits from customers' own devices accounting for 56% of online orders and 80% of traffic in the first half of the nursery retailer's financial year.
Overall, online sales reached £78.1m in the first half of its financial year, 22.1% up on the same time last year, the retailer reported this week. They now account for 36% of UK retail sales of £78.1m. That's up from 29% a year ago. The roll out of iPads to all stores had, said Mothercare, driven in-store online sales growth of 36%: this area of the business now represents 45% of online sales. Just over a third (34%) of online orders are now collected in store, as are 24% of online sales.
The fast digital growth came as the retailer for parents of babies and young children refurbished stores - around 20% will have been upgraded with a more modern look and feel by peak trading.
Mothercare , a Leading retailer in InternetRetailing IRUK Top500 research, announced group sales of £349.9m in the half-year to October 10, some 6.1% down on the same period last year. In the UK, sales of £236.6m were 0.4% up on last time, or 3.8% up on a like-for-like basis, which strips out the effect of store openings and closures. Pre-tax profits before exceptional charges came in at £7m, 112.1% up on last time. But after one-off costs of £1.2m, bottom-line pre-tax profits of £5.8m were 5.4% up on last time.
Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said that a year into its turnaround, Mothercare was making good progress against its strategy, which had resulted in first-half profits more than doubling.
"Our work to return the UK business to profitability continues to pay off," he said, "with growth in both gross margins and like-for-like sales. Improved product architecture, better buying and a focus on full-price retailing helped drive the stronger margin growth. Our new store format is going down well with customers and these refurbished stores are delivering encouraging uplift in both sales and profit. The UK is annualising against our new trading approach and is performing well, but there is still more work to do."