Boots expected to dispose of Childrens World
Tuesday 30 January 1996
Storehouse, which owns Mothercare, is tipped as the most likely buyer of the chain, which is expected to fetch around pounds 40m-pounds 50m.
Boots declined to comment on the possible sale yesterday. Storehouse also declined to be drawn on details, but a spokesman said Mothercare's first out-of-town store, which opened in Fosse Park, Leicestershire, last year, had been a success. All 52 branches of Childrens World are out of town.
Boots has been under pressure to take the axe to some of its under-performing business, which include the DIY chain Do It All as well as Fads and Homestyle.
Boots started Childrens World in 1987, hoping to capitalise on a demand for hassle-free shopping for children that involved an element of fun. The stores sell toys, clothes and nursery equipment and feature play areas which include helter-skelters.
However, the concept struggled to take off and the chain has never made a profit. Last year losses increased to pounds 1.9m on sales of pounds 50m. Christmas trading was also poor, with the company blaming aggressive price competition on toys.
The sale would be welcomed in the City, which feels the success of Boots the Chemist is being held back by losses in other areas.
Tony Shiret, retail analyst at BZW, said: "There is logic to the deal. It would give more scale to Mothercare and it would have greater buying power than Boots. Childrens World is a bit of an irrelevance to Boots and if they sold it, it would show a determination to get rid of some of the other under-performing businesses."
Storehouse would be expected to change the store names to Mothercare, which already has more than 260 branches, and derive other benefits from economies of scale.
Mothercare has been a star performer for Storehouse. Its profits jumped by 120 per cent to pounds 9.3m in the six months to October. However, Christmas trading was disappointing, with management blaming a difficult market. Storehouse shares closed down 1p at 293p.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Isis video purports to show beheadings and execution at gunpoint of 30 Ethiopian Christians and destruction of churches in Libya
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...