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Online sales growth helps boost Mothercare

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Sales at Mothercare’s online and mail order division grew by 16.3% in its latest financial year, according to figures out today.

The expansion in the direct in home division helped total sales at the children’s clothing and equipment retailer to pass the £1 billion milestone for the first time.

Total worldwide network sales grew by 10% to £1.1 billion in the year to March 27 2010. A strong performance also came from international sales, which rose by 20.2% in the year, on the back of 119 new store openings in 29 countries including Australia and India.

Growth came primarily, however, from the new stores. Like-for-like figures, which strips out the effect of store openings and closures, showed international sales growth of 2.2% and UK sales up 3%.

In the fourth quarter of the year Direct in Homes sales rose by 15.3% while total UK sales were down by 0.9%.

Chief executive Ben Gordon said: “In the fourth quarter the extreme weather conditions adversely impacted performance, resulting in an extension of our winter sale, although the impact was offset by tight cost control. We continue to manage the business tightly in an uncertain consumer environment and are well placed as we enter the new financial year.”

Our view: Mothercare’s online channel famously offers customers a much broader range of stock than it’s shops, with more than 300 buggies, for example, available. It’s good to see an example of intelligent online customer offer boosting real world sales.

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