US kidswear firm Gymboree will return to the UK with its Crazy 8 brand this autumn via a partnership with retail chain Adams Kids.
Two Adams Kids stores will be converted to the Crazy 8 concept this autumn. If successful, it is believed further stores could be given over to the US brand.
Adams Kids chairman John Shannon declined to give details on the nature of the firm’s relationship with Gymboree, but denied speculation that Gymboree planned to test the stores before deciding whether or not to proceed with a bid to buy Adam Kids’ entire chain of shops.
Shannon said: “How we progress will depend on the results of these trials.” Shannon added that like-for-like sales at Adams Kids were strong.
A spokesman for Gymboree said: “There are not currently any discussions with Adams Kids about investment or acquisition.”
Gymboree’s Crazy 8 brand has a lower price point than Gymboree’s mainline, and include girls’ dresses at US4.50 (£14.80). Prices for the UK have not been finalised.
Gymboree pulled out of the UK and Republic of Ireland in 2004 after poor sales in its shops.
Ladybird makes online comeback
Shop Direct Group relaunched Ladybird on its new Woolworths website this week, after it rescued both brands from administration earlier this year.
The brand was relaunched at www.woolworths.co.uk, with 300 pieces aimed at nought- to 5- year olds. Prices have not been altered with a 15-pack of babysuits retailing for £25 and a two-piece dungaree set at £14.
Ladybird had annual sales of £250 million before it collapsed into administration.