Mothercare products will continue to be sold in the UK – via new franchise partner Boots.
The nursery retail brand, which put its UK retail arm into administration last month, said today that it had appointed Boots as its franchise partner for this market.
The news comes days after Mothercare said its UK stores had not proved financially viable in an increasingly discount-driven market. At the same it said the only viable way for it to sell in this market would be via a franchisee – and that it was in ongoing discussions on the subject.
Today it unveiled the new exclusive partnership with Boots, which it says will offer significant opportunities to both Mothercare and Boots, owned by Walreens Boots Alliance.
Boots will sell Mothercare-branded clothing, home, and travel equipment such as pushchairs and car seats both online via Boots.com and in its stores. The range will be available online from mid 2020 and in larger branches of Boots from late summer 2020. In time, Boots will also host Mothercare shops within its stores.
An initial agreement has been signed, with final details expected to be in place in the next quarter. The partnership will run for an initial five years and is organised on similar terms to Mothercare’s existing international franchises.
Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive of Mothercare, said: “I am delighted to announced that we have taken our long-standing partnership with Boots to this next stage. In Boots, another much loved British heritage brand, we believe that Mothercare has found the right home in the UK. Boots is at the heart of one of the largest healthcare businesses in the world, and Mothercare will fit in as the specialist brand for parents and young children in both Boots stores and online. We know the team at Boots well from our successful Mini Club partnership which has been established over many years and we now look forward to working in an even stronger collaboration with the Boots team for the future.
“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for the brand and the millions of Mothercare customers across the UK. It is also great news for Mothercare and our wider group of stakeholders after what has been a tough period. This partnership between Mothercare and Boots UK brings certainty and scale to our continuing group. These are exciting times as we enter into these new arrangements with a partner of the scale, scope and stature of Boots.”
Boots, founded 170 years ago, currently sells from more than 2,400 stores in the UK and online via its website. It is a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research.
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