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NOW CLOSED: The day we went to Mothercare's flagship store in Edmonton, London: find out how the store went down with MNers

(49 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 10:47:41

This thread is for the 30+ MNers, bumps, partners, small (and bigger) children who attended the MN Mothercare Event at the Edmonton, North London store.

Here's more info about the store

At the event the MNers were taken on a tour of the store and had the opportunity to chat to the Mothercare staff and parenting consultant. They saw all the latest collections and met some of the buyers. We even had a coffee in the Costa and the LO's had a play with the toys in Early Learning Centre.

So if you attended the event, thank you - it was lovely to see you all there.

Please add a photo to the thread (the instructions are at the top of this thread - it won't work on the Talk App)

Please give us your responses to the following questions:

~ What did you like most about the store? What was different from any other Mothercare you've been too? Was it what you expected?

~ Who did you attend with? What did they think? Did you use any of the facilities for babies/ children?

~ If you had to describe the store to someone who had never been what
would you say?

~ What else would you like to see in the store?

~ What did you think of the ELC area?

~ Does the Mumspace offer activities that you think you would use in the future?

As a thank you for attending if you add your feedback or photo from the event to this thread - you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 Mothercare voucher.

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 11:02:37

Area outside the bra fitting rooms

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 11:03:20

mumspace info

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 11:04:13

We come in peace

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 11:04:47

poster in loos grin

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 11:05:15

5 4 3 2 1 blast off smile

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 11:05:31

Happyland

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 11:06:14

Sorry - Happyland.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 11:06:54

Listening to the story teller

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 11:07:13

Mum and Baby group meet up poster

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-May-13 11:07:33

Car seat fitting bay

TenaciousOne Fri 10-May-13 11:28:22

~ What did you like most about the store? What was different from any other Mothercare you've been too? Was it what you expected?
We liked quite a lot of the store but in terms of what kept my 21 month old happy it would have to be the Little Tikes area

~ Who did you attend with? What did they think? Did you use any of the facilities for babies/ children?

~ If you had to describe the store to someone who had never been what
would you say?

~ What else would you like to see in the store?

~ What did you think of the ELC area?

~ Does the Mumspace offer activities that you think you would use in the future?

youmaycallmeSSP Fri 10-May-13 11:44:09

We went and had a lovely time, thanks for organising it.

- I liked the way it felt like more than just a shop. I have never visited any other Mothercare store that felt like a 'destination'. If we lived nearby I can imagine going there a lot with my two, for classes and to use the ELC area. I had expected toys out for children to play with but not such a well set-up play area; brilliant!

- I took my 3yo DS and 6mo DD. DS raced off to play in the windmill as soon as we got upstairs and was very grumpy at being taken off for a story grin but he loved it. He didn't want to go home and talked about it all the way. I used the changing facilities with DD and she was happy. DS accidentally set off the hand dryer, which made him jump a mile! I thought the feeding/changing area was lovely but the first thing that hit me when I walked in was the smell of dirty nappies - more bin emptying please! I loved that there was so much seating in the ELC area and would have been happy to breastfeed DD up there if she had needed it but I know public feeding isn't for every mum so it might be a good idea to put a small play table in the feeding room so that mums with more than one child can feed in privacy. I was very impressed to see a small range of extended rear-facing car seats.

- It reminded me of our trips to the garden centre, but better! A shop, play area, baby group and cafe rolled into one. You will never get out of there in a hurry!

- As above. I was very happy to see no sweets by the checkouts. The carpark needs to be brought up to scratch to match the rest of the store: I nearly took a wing mirror off on the gate, which was sticking out into the road, and the normal parking spaces were quite tight.

- The ELC area was fantastic! Just a tiny gripe: the space between the windmill door and the barrier was too small for me and DD to squeeze through, let alone a pushchair. If you're rolling out the layout to other stores then please make sure parents can get through the gaps!

- I was very impressed with the story session we attended and would definitely like to attend something similar near me. We don't live close enough to use the Edmonton store though.

I took loads of photos but can't upload them as I'm on an iPhone sad

TenaciousOne Fri 10-May-13 11:55:40

Bah. Posting on the phone. I'll try again.
I attended with my DS. We used the play areas and the story corner.

I'd probably say, imagine all your parenting needs in one place with the practical things on the ground floor and the toys on the first floor. Or in one word: huge.

The only thing I would like to see is ERF car seats grin but I realise that's rather specialist.

DS loved the ELC area especially the play areas, in particular the Little Tikes. I liked the layout of the ELC area, and the flow. The only thing that didn't make sense to me was where the play food was but then that could just be me. I loved the book corner, although I love books so anywhere with a dedicated book section would win me over. DS loved the story time which was very interactive and included his favourite song.

The Mumspace activities were interesting and would be of interest to me. Although its probably a little too far away from me to make regular use of.

TenaciousOne Fri 10-May-13 12:00:26

Little Tikes area. Oh and if I had DH with me his favourite area would have been the Costa being in store and he gets "shopped out" and needs a rest.

TenaciousOne Fri 10-May-13 12:03:27

A picture from story time.

Sorry I meant to say more ERF car seats there were a few but none that would fit comfortably in my car.

charlie7 Fri 10-May-13 13:09:54

Thank you for inviting us!
We had a lovely afternoon. I went with my sister and my 16 month old DD. I thought the toy area was brilliant- we didn't have enough time to play in every bit, but my daughter definitely wanted to! The selection was much better than other stores and we got involved in some singing which was really nice.
I loved having the Costa in store, thought that was a great idea. The mum space was brill too, and so many different classes. I can't think of any you've missed- I just wonder whether you might use the space for older children during holidays maybe?

I can't think of any improvements!! I would definitely go back.
I've attempted to upload a photo of my daughter playing in a car upstairs. Not sure if it has worked!

spyinamuddle Fri 10-May-13 13:28:00

~ What did you like most about the store? What was different from any other Mothercare you've been too? Was it what you expected?

It was very big - and not cluttered. Very unlike my tiny local store.

~ Who did you attend with? What did they think? Did you use any of the facilities for babies/ children?

I came with my 10 month old in a sling. We used the feeding area adjacent to the nappy change area. There were 4 chairs, comfy for feeding, and it was a good space. I liked the fact there weren't too many doors which would be awkward with pushachairs. However I wonder if a curtain across the feeding area might be a good idea - give a little more privacy and also a 'barrier' to prevent an older child getting in the way of nappy changers while the mother fed a younger sibling.

I went to the car seat area and was impressed they had scales to weigh your child - how sensible!

*~ If you had to describe the store to someone who had never been what
would you say?*
Good facilities, generally a good range of items. Prepare to spend a long time in the play area!

~ What else would you like to see in the store? Nothing springs to mind - my comments are more about the range of items within the store - see below.

~ What did you think of the ELC area?

Good - plenty of things to play with. However this would probably mean you would need to come with 2 adults - one to watch the children and one to shop - in which case you might as well leave one adult at home with the children anyway! But if you wanted to visit other shops in the retail park it would be good to be able to go there with the children for a bit.

~ Does the Mumspace offer activities that you think you would use in the future?
I live too far away to use it really (25 mins drive). If I was within a 10 minute drive I would probably go to some activities.

Other comments
The shop itself was really good. In terms of the items sold I loved the Jules Oliver stuff, and was impressed with the range of pushchairs and the space to try them.

The car seat section was OK - I spoke to quite a helpful guy who said they were getting more ERF seats in. I wanted to buy a Maxicosi Rodifix car seat - would have been quite happy to buy one on the spot but the price was £180 - when at the minute they are £140 in John Lewis. The man I spoke to said they did price match, but only on line, so I would need to order online (or phone up and reserve maybe) then go in and collect, and bring my price match proof, and then they would discount it. That seemed a bit of a shame, and they probably lost a sale.

The choice of slings is poor. They seemed to have 2 baby bjorn types and one Stokke, and that was it.

The cloth nappies section is diabolical. It seems to be 30 years old - terry nappies and nappy soak!

youmaycallmeSSP Fri 10-May-13 13:47:50

charlie7 I was in the same group as you; your DD is very cute!

Just coming back to add a few more suggestions that I forgot about earlier. I'm nit-picking really because I thought the store was great but unmitigated praise isn't very helpful if you're looking for ways to improve. Things I thought of:

- It would make better sense to me if the cafe was next to the ELC bit so parents could sit down for 20 minutes to have a drink while still keeping a close eye on their DC;

- While we're on the cafe, hot drinks + small children always make me nervous. The tables at Costa are always teeny-tiny so not great for babies who love reaching out and grabbing things. I'm not sure how you'd solve that but bigger tables would be safer;

- Someone else beat me to it but the selection of slings was very poor. A proper sling section and a regular sling meet in the Mumspace would, I'm sure, be extremely profitable;

- I'm not 100% sure on this one as I didn't get a proper look. As said before, I was very pleased to see no sweets or naff toys by the checkouts but that was slightly messed up by the coin-operated ride-on toys in the ELC area. Sure-fire way to annoy parents and cause tantrums; and

- In the feeding area, the bottle warmers were right above a nappy bin. I thought that was a bit yucky.

That's it from me, I think. Thanks again for a lovely afternoon & the nice goody-bags smile

MrsDeVere Fri 10-May-13 13:51:14

~ What did you like most about the store? What was different from any other Mothercare you've been too? Was it what you expected?
I really like the bright, light and spacious layout of the store.
As I used to go to the store before the refurb it was different from what I expected. Its 100x better than it used to be!

~ Who did you attend with? What did they think? Did you use any of the facilities for babies/ children?

Came with DC5. He loved it. He liked the little tikes area

~ If you had to describe the store to someone who had never been what
would you say?
Modern and clean. Lots going on

~ What else would you like to see in the store?
In my fantasy world? More inclusive features. Disabled children as models, some of the less specialised SN equipment for sale (buggies, car seats, clothing and nappies)

~ What did you think of the ELC area?
My only issue is that it makes me feel a little nervy being upstairs with open railings and staircases. I am certain they are safe but it still makes me feel a little on edge being up there with a very active toddler.

~ Does the Mumspace offer activities that you think you would use in the future?
Possibly. The timings are a bit off for me and I have children of different ages and one with SN so its always a bit complicated for me to do things. I like the idea of the Saturday activies.

MrsDeVere Fri 10-May-13 13:52:03

DC5 having a story

BoffinMum Fri 10-May-13 14:30:17

Inspired by this thread I had a look at the website and it looks lovely, like the Hipp concession at Europapark. Well done Mothercare.

Bosgrove Fri 10-May-13 17:38:04

What did you like most about the store? What was different from any other Mothercare you've been too? Was it what you expected?

This is my local store so I have been rather a lot over the last 10 years, it used to be cluttered with tills too close to the doors for any real safety. I hadn't been since the renovations, and it is a BIG improvement.

Anytime I have been to another store I am struck by how small and cramped they are, with a poor selection of goods, the opposite can be said about Edmonton, and the wide aisles mean that it is easier to navigate with prams and there is a large selection of thing to chose from.

While the clothes department has got smaller than previously (it is still larger than other Mothercares that I have been to), the other departments feel like they have got bigger.
~ Who did you attend with? What did they think? Did you use any of the facilities for babies/ children?

I came with DD2 who is 4 (just), she enjoyed it, especially the child size toilet, she went three times in the hour we were in the store. There were Happyland toys in Costa which kept her very happy waiting for the tour to start.

~ If you had to describe the store to someone who had never been what
would you say?

If you are starting out with the buying of baby products it is worth going as you can look at a lot of different products, and if you already have babies and toddlers it is worth going for the Little Tikes area and the classes.

~ What else would you like to see in the store?

There isn't anything I can think of off hand.

~ What did you think of the ELC area?
DD2 (age 4) loved it. with pressing the buttons on the Rocket to hugging the giant Happyland characters which are scattered around.

As we got upstairs they were doing a story and song time and I had to drag her away she was having a great time. The gate to the Little Tikes area didn't close, but I have pointed it out to a member of staff who said that they would fix it.

Having the toys that the children can get their hands on, would help knowing what toys would go down well as presents.

~ Does the Mumspace offer activities that you think you would use in the future?

If my children were young, I think that I would come to some of the classes, as I said it is my local store (10 minutes drive) so with the carpark (if you go left as you go in there is are about another 20 spaces) it makes it really easy to get to. If I lived further away I would go to my local classes.

On the whole, it is somewhere that I would considering going with my friends when we go out for a coffee, we nomally have a few children with us, so we could have a drink and when the children get bored let them have a play.

RubyrooUK Fri 10-May-13 20:49:13

Hello. Thanks for inviting me. I really enjoyed the store, meeting everyone and nosing around. Thank you for the goodie bag and coffee.

Here is my feedback. Anything critical is simply because I am being honest and hopefully that will help you work out what works/what doesn't.

1. This Mothercare was bright, airy and pretty well laid out. It felt modern and easy to browse with lots of facilities for parents and children. I liked best:

- the coffee shop. I absolutely hate breastfeeding in tiny cramped areas where nappies are being changed. I think it is good for a parenting shop to normalise breastfeeding by having lots of comfy seating around the store where it can be done as part of normal life (as well as somewhere more sheltered for those who prefer privacy). Plus I love coffee. I haven't slept for nearly three years. grin

- the large ELC area. To me, the advantage that Mothercare has over cheaper brands (Kiddicare) and more expensive ones (Jojomamanbebe) is that it has the ELC brand that focused on education through play. To me, that is a jewel in the Mothercare experience so it is nice to see ELC getting a much better showcase.

- the Mumspace. Although I hate the name, preferring Parentspace or even Childspace or Kidspace....Mumspace sounds a bit cheesy. I think this is great. I live 25 mins or so from the store but would come for special occasions or a class might tip me into going to Mothercare to combine a class/buying stuff rather than another store.

My local store and the one near work are both small, cramped and boiling hot. Even the staff joke that the heating drives everyone out of the store in my local ones. My local store feels a bit downmarket - lots of pink, sparkly clothes by the door, virtually no boys clothes except in sludge brown with slogans on and all the ELC toys shoved away at the back with no play areas to encourage browsing. There is nowhere noticeable to feed/change children either, so combined with the heat, most visits are short. (But the staff are lovely and so warm.)

It was what I expected in some areas and not in others. Better in some ways than expected and less impressive in others. But broadly, yes, much better than other Mothercare stores by miles and miles.

2. I attended with DS2. He is a small baby and made no use of facilities whatsoever apart from me during our visit.

3. I'd describe the store as a great place to get lots and lots of baby/child products in one place in a shopping trip that could double as entertainment for the actual children. If you have a car obviously. It's not somewhere you would pop for one inexpensive thing due to location, but if you need a couple of things and a coffee/fun for your kids, it is a good choice.

4. I would like to see more of:

- Extended rear facing car seats. We were told on the tour about a partnership with Good Egg which promotes on its website that these are 5 times safer than forward facing in a frontal collision. I would consider ERF for my DS2 but find it hard to find a good range of seats to try with a larger child. Even though I have a front facing one for DS1 as he hated going backwards, I would like to try an ERF seat or two for DS2.

- Slings. The slings stocked are not those that get the best reviews on places like Mumsnet. Having more stocked online and one of each stocked variety to try on in store of a wider range would be useful. Sling meets would work well in the Mumspace; I reckon lots of people would turn up to try on slings and put in orders. Everyone I know with a pushchair also has a sling (especially with more than one child) so you are missing a big market by ignoring so many sling brands.

- I'd like maternity wear that fashionable people might wear. Not super fashionable, just not really unfashionable. It doesn't have to be expensive - just not all t-shirts and baggy trousers. The only reason I'd spend money on maternity gear is if it made me look attractive. I am really sorry, but the Blooming Marvellous range just says "now I've had sex and got pregnant, I hereby give up any hope". Everything looks like Primark quality and is dominated by ugly t-shirts and ugly jeans. Sorry.

- Please stock better designed childrenswear. I am buying masses for DS1 and 2 but I rarely buy Mothercare because it looks identical to supermarket ranges. I actually like some of the Little Bird range but this isn't available in my local stores. As the mother of two sons, please please please could you step away from the slogans about being cool etc and be more interesting. I know Mothercare has to appeal to a mass market but H&M manages a better range with the same market. And there is great premium inspiration from Polarn O Pyret or Nordic Kids that could be adapted for your customers.

5. The ELC area looks great...nothing to add as I didn't get to spend much time there as I didn't have my toddler with me.

6. Yes I would use the Mumspace. It's probably a bit too far to do regularly but I would deliberately time visits to coincide with the classes. I will also look out for special events there.

Thank you again!

leeloo1 Fri 10-May-13 20:50:57

This was a lovely event, so thanks very much for arranging it. smile

~ What did you like most about the store? What was different from any other Mothercare you've been too? Was it what you expected?

Its one of my local stores, so I've been a few times, but its always worth another visit. grin It was also good to have a tour as I hadn't looked round the changing rooms etc and it was interesting to hear the thinking behind how the store has been designed around the needs of children and parents.

Compared with other Mothercare stores (e.g. Wood Green, Stratford, Cambridge) this branch is fantastic - its not just a shop, there are toys to play with, a play area, events and classes, antenatal scans, a Clarks shoe shop, a coffee shop and toilets/feeding areas - everything you need really.

~ Who did you attend with? What did they think? Did you use any of the facilities for babies/ children?

I came with DS (4) who loved the store, but mildly resented having to follow the tour guide round when he already knew what he wanted to play with - apologies to all the staff and other mums whose DC were so much better behaved and managed not to douse themselves and half the store in juice! Straws and tipping up wide-necked bottles apparently don't mix well...

DS really liked: the lift with infinity mirrors, pushing the buttons on the rocket, the great 'pop-up books' story session, the mini-toilets, the range of toys on display and the cars/play houses in the play area. We also had DS' feet measured while we were instore and he always likes that.

He was less keen on the shopping aspect of the store but coped well whilst I had a look round the clothes before leaving.

~ If you had to describe the store to someone who had never been what would you say?

I'd say its somewhere to enjoy having a day out to! You can get a take-out coffee from the in-store Costa and then take it upstairs to chat and watch the little ones play in the (gated) play area. There are loads of toys/books/clothes/baby accessories to choose from if you want to fit in shopping afterwards.

~ What else would you like to see in the store?

I had a look at the maternity clothes, hoping to get some things for my holidays, but didn't see any shorts, suitable skirts or swimming costumes with any decent bust support/underwiring. So ended up leaving empty handed, which was disappointing.

~ What did you think of the ELC area?

Overall its great - lots of room to move/shop/play and friendly, helpful staff.

To be really picky though... when the store first opened the toys in the windmill and castle were lovely and really well presented and the areas were very clean. More recently (I didn't go in yesterday, so don't know what they were like then) there have just been broken/mismatched toys (e.g. a broken garage with no cars, half a train track etc), which is a problem of so many children using them - and things being walked off with - I'd guess? But it hasn't been so nice to play there. Also those areas have been dusty and look like they could do with a proper clean.

~ Does the Mumspace offer activities that you think you would use in the future?

Yes, I'm planning to bring DS to some of the activity sessions, so thanks for the timetable.

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