Mothercare hopes for feel-good factor from arrival of royal baby

 
Kasmira Jefford
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MOTHERCARE, the baby products retailer, is hoping that a “feel-good factor” from the imminent royal baby birth will in turn have a positive impact on sales.

Chief executive Simon Calver said the group had put together a celebration range that included Born to Rule sleepsuits and Princess/Prince in Training bibs to mark the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child.

“It’s hard to gauge what sort of increase we’ll have. I think there’ll be a feel-good factor and who knows – in nine months time there may even be a tick-up in the birth rate,” Calver said.

Like-for-like sales at the group fell 0.9 per cent in the first quarter to 15 July, a decline on the flat sales outcome reported in the previous quarter but in line with analysts’ expectations.

While clothing sales and volumes benefited from the launch of new ranges, home and travel as well as its toys range were hit by an increasingly promotional market, Mothercare said.

Online sales jumped 14.6 per cent, helping to offset the negative impact of 13 store closures in the period.

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