Mothercare – the UK’s largest retailer for pregnant women

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Having a long and varied history that has included mergers with now defunct homeware retailer Habitat and deals with BHS and Boots, Mothercare is considered to be the UK’s largest retailer in goods for pregnant women and young children.

Now a worldwide brand with branches in 39 countries, Mothercare have countered the steady decline of their physical stores (with around 389 remaining on British high streets) by a rise in ecommerce through – their most recent returns showed that the company earn around £800 million in revenues annually, generating profits of £24 million per year.

Mothercare is also the parent company of the Early Learning Centre (ELC), having bought the brand from John Menzies in 2007. Although largely aimed at the same demographic, ELC is entirely focussed on toys for babies and toddlers – which has allowed for frequent cross promotion between the two companies.

The company have also been keen to diversify in recent times, and attempted to turn their hands to social media with the launch of Gurgle in 2007. Marketed as an alternative to Mumsnet, the site is estimated to have around 100,000 members and is a platform for the exchange of information about conception, birthing techniques and motherhood.