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Morrison-Owned Kiddicare Aims to Have 10 Stores by August

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Kiddicare, the baby equipment retailer owned by WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc, 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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