Morrisons has launched its flagship Kiddicare store in Nottingham today (26 September) to take on Mothercare, its mother-and-baby retail rival.
The Nottingham store includes free Wi-Fi for parents to price-check items and read online reviews, a Very Important Baby personal shopping experience and a gift registry service to plan shopping for new babies.
In-store features have been conceived by design agency 20.20 and are an attempt to convert the Kiddicare brand’s "great online offering" into a physical retail space.
The developments come as struggling Mothercare attempts to modernise its own stores and improve its online offering.
Mothercare has appointed former LoveFilm boss Simon Calver as its new chief executive to develop its online presence and has scaled back advertising in order to invest in its stores.
Morrisons acquired Kiddicare for £70m in February 2011 to convert the online retailer into a multi-channel brand.
It is using Kiddicare’s expertise to launch the supermarket’s first online offer, a wine ecommerce store, in the second half of next year.
The decision was taken to open the first Kiddicare store in Nottingham following a public poll run via social media.
Morrisons currently has plans to roll out nine further Kiddicare stores after snapping up the 10 megastores previously occupied by electronics retailer Best Buy before its collapse.
Elaine Weavers Wright, brand director at Kiddicare, claims the brand has created "more than just a shopping experience".
She said: "Our new store concept and brand identity really capture the fun of having a baby.
"We’re creating an emotional relationship that excites existing customers and engages new ones, always remaining true to our ethos of unbeatable value, great range and exceptional service."
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