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Mamas & Papas festive sales rise as turnaround completes

Mamas & Papas like-for-like sales grew by 11% in the 13 weeks to 25 December, cementing its repositioning and completed turnaround phase.

Mamas & Papas gained new owners private equity firm BlueGem Capital in July 2014 and entered into a company voluntary arrangement in September that year. It has since repositioned to attract millennial parents with a focus on in-store experiences and personal shopping.

The maternity and kidswear retailer said its Black Friday promotions on 25 November beat its previous best online sales day by 29%, while the following Sunday had record takings at Mamas & Papas’ 32 UK stores.

Like-for-like store sales are up 10% for the year to date, boosted by online sales, which are up by 13%.

It has recently opened three new concept stores in Westfield London, Speke and on Northcote Road in Battersea, London, and is looking to open another 15 new stores, half of them inside the M25.

The boutique-style concept on Northcote Road, which opened in August, features an edited range of Mamas & Papas’ most popular products, as well as offering events and experiences such as yoga in collaboration with fitness studio Frame, nutritional classes and workshops.

Personal shopping is a strong focus for the business, increasing from 1% of total UK store sales a year ago to 10% today.

“These are encouraging results and show that our investment in new formats, new product launches and in digital is really paying off,” said chief executive Jonathon Fitzgerald.

“The growth we’ve seen in personal shopping is particularly pleasing.”

The firm has just filed its accounts for the year ended 27 March 2016, during which operating profits including international operations grew 292% to £5.5m.

UK sales fell by 7.4% to £99.8m as a result of the closure of non-performing stores, but like-for-like sales grew by 20% during the year and ecommerce increased by 12% to £20.7m.

Chairman Derek Lovelock said: “With economic growth likely to slow and uncertainty over the course and outcome of Brexit set to continue, trading conditions are unlikely to improve much in 2017, but we can look forward to the future with confidence and cautious optimism.”

Read an interview with Jonathon Fitzgerald here.



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