Mamas & Papas eyes China
UK-based Mamas & Papas will soon cater to Chinese moms and babies with its first store to open in December.
The retailer and manufacturer of baby products, pushchairs, furniture and maternity wear, has signed a franchise agreement with Korean company Zero to Seven, a retailer of infant-toddler products, apparel, maternity clothes, toys and furniture, which is also running a business in China. The franchise agreement involves opening 90 stores within the next five years.
The first store will open inside the Nanjinulu Baodaxiang department store in Shanghai, taking up 3229 sqft space. Mamas & Papas will also open standalone stores and a Chinese online shop which is expected to go live next year.
The retailer’s entry to the Chinese market follows its recent international expansion in South Africa, Russia and Lebanon.
Mamas & Papas deputy CEO Tim Maule is confident the brand will establish a strong customer base in China as shown by its popularity among Chinese customers visiting its stores in London.
“There is a growing middle class in China that wants to buy Western brands. It’s essential that we’re there,” said Maule.
Mamas & Papas’ foray into the Chinese market will build pressure on troubled rival Mothercare whose CEO Simon Calver identified China, where it has 22 stores, as a significant market. Mothercare plans to open 50 to 80 stores across Asia annually to make up for falling profits in challenging developed markets.