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Woolies’ fall gives kids’ stores a lift

Kidswear retailers are reporting a major boost in sales following the collapse of Woolworths’ kidswear brand Ladybird and its value offer Worthit!, which are thought to have generated sales of about £250 million annually.

Value players including Sainsbury’s Tu and George at Asda are understood to have experienced an uplift in kidswear sales in recent weeks as a direct result of the demise of the Woolworths kidswear labels, although the brand names were rescued from administration by home-shopping firm Shop Direct Group last month in a deal thought to have been worth about £20m.

One kidswear director of a multiple told Drapers: “Where Woolworths and Ladybird have gone from the town, we’ve seen a definite uplift in sales. It does depend on the size of the town though; in smaller market towns it’s more enhanced because there isn’t as much competition.”

Another head of clothing at a value retailer said he was gaining market share in kidswear and that his rivals had also picked up significant sales.
The UK kidswear market was worth £4.6 billion in the year to February 1. It is one of the more resilient sub-sectors because consumers are less likely to compromise on shopping for their children.

Shop Direct Group will relaunch both the Woolworths and Ladybird brands as standalone online operations this summer.

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