Morrison-Owned Kiddicare Aims to Have 10 Stores by August

Kiddicare, the baby equipment retailer owned by WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc (MRW), will open six more superstores by August, bringing the total to 10, Chief Executive Officer Scott Weavers-Wright said.

“The ambition is that I want 20 stores around the country,” said Weavers-Wright, who joined Morrison’s when it acquired Kiddicare for 70 million pounds ($105 million) in 2011. Weavers-Wright also runs Morrison’s online non-food business.

Kiddicare, which opened its first outlet last year and now has four stores, expects to generate annual sales of 200 million pounds by 2015, Weavers-Wright said in an interview in London today. Kiddicare stores should generate half of total revenue. About 85 percent of sales, “exceeding 60 million pounds a year,” currently come from online orders, he said.

Kiddicare decided to open stores because the presence will allow expecting parents to try out the merchandise, such as buggies and cots, Weavers-Wright said.

Morrisons, the U.K.’s fourth-largest grocer, is losing market share in part because it doesn’t have an online grocery business. It has a 10 percent stake in U.S. grocer FreshDirect, and Chief Executive officer Dalton Philips will unveil the company’s U.K. online strategy tomorrow when he reports full- year results.

Weavers-Wright will also lead the new online grocery business, Retail Week reported today.

Mothercare, a retailer of nursery equipment that set out a three-year turnaround plan in April 2012, posted a 5.9 percent decline in third-quarter same-store sales in January.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gabi Thesing in London at gthesing@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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