Parent and child retailer Kiddicare , these days owned by the supermarket chain Morrisons, opened its eighth store last week, in Enfield in North-East London. The one-time online-only merchant has been busy with store openings since it launched its first in Nottingham last year, and the latest opening – in a former Best Buy unit – is a 33,000 sq ft, single floor store that is geared towards multichannel.
There is a very large physical merchandise presence, for those wishing to explore the wider Kiddicare world, but there are kiosks at almost every turn.
Last year, when the Nottingham store was launched, Kiddicare chief executive Scott Weavers Wright explained the thinking.
“Our expansion into physical retail puts us in a unique position,” said Weavers Wright .
“We’ve engineered a truly multichannel proposition, not shoehorned our business into an existing model. We know that our customers are savvy shoppers. They’re doing their research, price comparison, shopping and social networking across multiple platforms so we’re leading the way for them to shop whenever, however, wherever they want: online, in-store, via kiosk, mobile or app. We really are shaping the baby market with the specialist stores of the future.”
Each new store stocks thousands of products and has a big staff, as well as an in-store soft play area, a Kiddicafé, and a dedicated community room for parenting classes, mother and baby events and baby showers. Technology features include touchscreen kiosk technology, barcode scanning for stock availability, and browse and order functionality. Digital signs and electronic shelf-edge labeling will allow agile discounting, while there is also guest wi-fi for pricechecking.
The multichannel environment is underpinned by technology including IBM WebSphere, Endeca, Monetate, MS Navision and SalesForce.
In 2011 the supermarket chain Morrisons bought Kiddicare.com for £70m to facilitate Morrisons’ first step into the world of online. In March this year it was announced by Morrisons that Weavers Wright had joined its online food division to help with the supermarket’s transition into online sales of food.