Family makes fortune look like child’s play

THE family behind Kiddicare will share a £70m pot between them after their fast expanding business caught the eye of supermarket giant Wm Morrison.

Family-run Kiddicare was founded in 1974 by Neville and Marilyn Wright, and is now run by their daughter, Elaine Weavers-Wright and her husband Scott.

Kiddicare originally traded as Rainbow, a supplier of baby products, prospered from its beginnings, due to a policy of keeping prices low by paying suppliers early and triggering discounts that it passed on to customers.

Rebranded in the Eighties, the business has grown from first-year turnover of just £10,000.

However, while the firm is still owned by the Wrights, a lot of that growth has required the information technology expertise of IT consultant Scott Weavers-Wright, who is now a partner in Kiddicare.

He launched the company on the world wide web in 1999, ahead of many other retailers.

The website now accounts for 80 per cent of its business and has 40,000 customers a month.

He said yesterday: “Elaine and I are extremely excited about partnering with Morrisons to accelerate the pace of future growth at kiddicare.com and look forward to working with the Morrisons team to develop their online offer.

There are fantastic synergies between the two businesses and our platform will allow both brands to enjoy future success and to continue to deliver an unrivalled customer experience.”

ROTHSCHILD
ROTHSCHILD was adviser to Wm Morrison on the deal. The bank has kept under wraps the finer details of the negotiations which see the supermarket giant join the move to online trading, albeit after the other major chains took the plunge.

The price of £70m has been seen as at the upper end by analysts but Kiddicare’s rapid expansion gave it valuable bargaining clout. Rothschild advised on the disposal of Pets at Home to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts last year. It also advised on a £311m placing and rights issue for electricals giant DSG International.