Mothercare and ELC to move from High Street?

Retailer looks to leave smaller shops in favour of shopping malls.
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Mothercare and its pre-school arm, the Early Leaning Centre, will shift emphasis from the High Street to larger out-of-town shopping centres, the Financial Times reports.

Last Friday the retailer announced plans open a 11,750 square feet store in Peterborough’s Serpentine Green Shopping Centre on May 5. The store will combine both the Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre brands under one roof.

News of the retail rethink follows Mothercare's recent appointment of former Asda exec Mike Logue to oversee its UK operations.

It is believed Logue’s knowledge of the supermarket sector will help Mothercare reclaim sales in its specialist babycare and pre-school sectors, where its traditional business has been hurt with supermarkets like Tesco expanding its toy and baby offering.

The strategy to consolidate in larger premises comes after a series of stories reporting a general lack of consumer spending on the High Street.

Last week Mothercare issued a profit warning, with HMV and Dixons Retail following suit. Alworths also entered administration.

Despite poor performance on the UK High Street, the maternity retailer reported an 12 per cent rise in international sales, thanks largely in part to a 47 per cent sales increase in its Indian operation.

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