Mothercare ‘s digital strategy is bearing fruit, with a 20.4% jump in online sales reported today.
The ecommerce growth helped the retailer for parents and carers of babies and young children, a Leading retailer in the IRUK500, to 1.8% growth in total UK sales in the 13 weeks to October 10. When measured on a like-for-like basis, which strips out the effect of a store closure programme – UK space fell by 7.4% – like-for-like sales were up by 5.6%.
Worldwide sales were down by 2.8% and total group sales by 7.1%, while international sales fell by 5.3% when currency fluctuations were taken into account, though when these were discounted international sales were up by 6.6%, today’s second-quarter trading statement showed.
Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive, said second-quarter results were in line with full-year expectations. “The UK is continuing to benefit from our strategic initiatives both online and in store, while International has seen the expected improvement in trading,” he said.
Mothercare said it had focused on selling products as full price, while its approach to resizing the store estate led to 10 closures, three openings and six refurbishments. Some 20% of UK stores are expected to be modernised before Christmas.
He added: “In the UK our digital strategy resulted in strong double-digit growth of online sales, which in turn contributed to the growth in like-for-like sales. Our improved and exclusive product ranges in home and travel and clothing and footwear are supporting our full-price trading approach. As a result we were able to go into our end-of-season-sale with less product at discount and so delay the start of the sale until the second quarter.
“With Christmas now quickly approaching we are gearing up to our peak trading period. These results give us further confidence in our strategy, but there is much more to be done. Our vision remains clear – to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children.”