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Mothercare: live webchat with CEO Simon Calver, TODAY, Friday 22 March, 11am

(195 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-Mar-13 15:30:20

Simon Calver, Mothercare CEO is joining us for a webchat on Friday 22nd March between 11am and midday. After reading a recent rather, erm, robust MN thread about Mothercare, Simon really wants to hear more of your thoughts and feedback. This is your opportunity to contribute your ideas to help shape the future of Mothercare.

Simon says, 'I'm really looking forward to hearing from many of you in the Mumsnet community and to listen to your thoughts and opinions on a range of subjects. We are working hard to address many of the issues you've raised in the past so I hope you'll join me on Friday when I can update you on what we've done so far and some of our ideas for the future.'

Before joining Mothercare Simon was CEO at LoveFilm and has also worked with Unilever and PepsiCo. He is also a father of two very young children.

Simon looks forward to hearing your thoughts about Mothercare between 11 and 12 on Friday. if you're unable to join us on the day, please post your question in advance on this thread.

PureQuintessence Fri 22-Mar-13 18:20:30

Maybe Mothercare needs to get the CEO they had 10 years ago when it was a Brilliant Brand and seemed to know what they were doing?

Osmiornica Fri 22-Mar-13 18:47:19

"I don't really understand why Mothercare seemingly can't be bothered to look into it. You can get an ERF seat to fit all but the smallest car. "

I think you've answered your own question there. I would bet that most people don't even know about rear facing seats for older babies/children so no wonder there's no demand. Also how do they know there's no demand? Do they record everytime someone asks if they sell them - thought not.

VisualiseAHorse Fri 22-Mar-13 19:09:51

You can get an ERF seat to fit all but the smallest car - not true - I couldn't find one that would fit our old car (an 15 year old Landrover Discovery), and in fact, LO's Group 0 car seat didn't actually fit very well at all, neither did the birth - 4 years car seat we bought.

Regardless of your car type - they should be stocking and promoting ERF seats anyway. The same thing goes for the their baby carriers. They only seem to stock (in store) the crotch-dangler type which are bad for both parent and baby.

blondieminx Fri 22-Mar-13 20:01:21

Hmm a very disappointing web chat - Simon really didn't want to engage on the 2 key safety issues

(a) ERF car seats (on which i agree totally with lagoonhaze and worldgonecrazy);and
(b) slings

OR on the gendering issue which is a real bugbear. Because he didn't come across as wanting to deal with any of those really important things I will not give up my time to sit on this panel he's hoping we'll join.

It was VERY clear what we thought - if he ignores our lovely free advice I suspect Mothercare won't still be around in 12-18 months... if they don't get the stores, staffing and stock right then people will go elsewhere, and we'll see another high street name fold.

Employing cheap/young min wage staff instead of experienced and knowledgeable people is a real false economy. They won't care about the heritage of the brand or be keen to make it strong for the future sad

lagoonhaze Fri 22-Mar-13 20:20:03

Visualhorse. I would be interested to know which seats you tried. There are some really compact ERF seats on the market now including the Klippan Triofix which is apparently as small as an infant carrier.

Sadly there just isnt the stockists nationwide of these seats so many people only get to try one or two ERF.

justforinfo Fri 22-Mar-13 21:02:35

I'm sorry I missed this. If possible, I'd like to know if you still target your staff on their car seat sales?

Last year my brother worked for mothercare and refused to be trained on car seats. I am very passionate and knowledgeable about seats (work in the industry) so wondered why on earth he would not take the extra training, knowing that he probably knows more from me telling him about seats than most of your 'specialists' combined. His response: because there are targets on seat sales, and I don't think that's right.

How, may I ask, can you possibly put a target on selling car seats? If you target your staff to sell 5 Maxi Cosi Priori XP's, how is that the best for your customers and their children? Profit before safety once again. Please stop this practice and encourage your staff (and yourself) to educate themselves on ERF and to put the children's safety first.

As with previous posts - there is no major retailer with a great rep for car seats, no major retailer promoting ERF, and no major retailer giving the impression they care about car seats and making a great effort to help parents know every single option available. - You're missing a massive trick!

lagoonhaze Fri 22-Mar-13 21:48:15

Wow Justforinfo! Bet we dont get a response to that. What interesting information.

chickensaladagain Fri 22-Mar-13 22:35:12


I used to work for mothercare and we weren't targeted on specific seats, but the daily targets were split into x amount of carseats to make it relevant to the staff eg, we need £800 today, that's 10 britax eclipse

has this moved to targeting individual seats?
if so I'm shocked because every bit of training I recieved was safety first and if it doesn't fit then don't sell it, even if that means we lost a sale

AnAirOfHope Sat 23-Mar-13 11:01:08

My dd is 16 months old but not yet 9kg as she is so tiny I dont want her in a forward faceing car seat yet as she is small.

I need to test the car seat to see if it fits our ford cmax and that she fits in it correctly.

We went to Mothercare and was told no they dont sell them as there is no demand (it was a Saturday). I tried Kiddiecare and they guy lied to me saying the MaxCosi Opal went to 18kg when it said on the seat 13kg and the he fitted it in my car and he had to move the passager seat back to wedge the baby car seat in place shock

No major high street shop stocks ERF car seats and the staff are not trained in the correct safety issues. The sad thing is I saw the sales guy showing the same seat to three more people and they only offered two ERF sad

How I would love to go to Mothercare try out a range of ERF seats and yes I would pay £££ for it in the same way I spend money on a nursary that only last for four years at most.

VisualiseAHorse Sat 23-Mar-13 12:28:15

I can't remember which seats we looked at - it was well over a year ago now. We never got to actually fit one in the car as no where near us had them in stock, and all of the research I did, no seats seemed to fit our car. Our problem was that the actual car seat was too narrow and slopey (makes sense?).

Our infant carrier didn't fit well either - glad that we have now got a newer car. No way on Earth we could afford to pay £400 for a car seat. In fact, our 'new' car only cost twice that! Mothercare should be focusing on helping all parents on all incomes.

AnAirOfHope Sat 23-Mar-13 12:44:19

The cheapest ERF seat I have looked at is £99 from Kiddicare a britex two way elite 9kg to 18kg

ERF seats do not have to be expensive if there was more demand and bulk economy.

lagoonhaze Sat 23-Mar-13 19:56:54

Kiddicare don't sell Two way elite..... Think you mean the first class plus which isn't a erf seat.

Agree prices need to come down.

JacqueslePeacock Sat 23-Mar-13 21:52:03

Very disappointed that he didn't seem interested in the substance of most of what was said. Horrible blue and pink clothes not much nicer than Tesco's own at twice the price, instead of simple, bright unisex baby and toddler basics. Horrible use of "mum's space" instead of "parent's". No commitment to ERF car seats, not much interest in selling proper slings instead of badly fitting babybjorns etc. Why come on Mumsnet if you aren't interested in opinions? Or is your target demographic not the women (and men!) on here?

AnAirOfHope Sat 23-Mar-13 21:57:13

Sorry yes that was the car seat and the other was maxicosy Opal.

worldgonecrazy Mon 25-Mar-13 08:32:18

because there are targets on seat sales, and I don't think that's right.

WTAF?? I am truly shocked that sales are put before safety..... actually maybe I'm not that shocked.

Blondieminx Mon 24-Feb-14 13:54:40

Does anyone remember this webchat where MNer's kindly provided free advice on exactly what Mothercare needed to fix? The chief exec, Simon Calver who er, sidestepped many of our recommendations... has "stepped down" after a profit warning in January link to FT article, will be paywalled after today I think.

I'd like to see Mothercare be great again, the board should so appoint one of us to sort it out!

MunningCockery Tue 04-Mar-14 03:17:56

ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This is/was a dead thread. Are you sure you want to reanimate it?

Will be my first time 'reanimating' anything for bloody ages, let alone an entire thread (the power is making me giddy actually) so that's a yes from me ta now you've asked so nicely. wink

That aside however.

There is something painfully mortifying about the Mothercare threads. Is a bit like when your drunk sister [pick relee of choice, 'tis def not a 'gender-segregation' analogyhmm] logs into your FB and suddenly, high on that combo of direct access and loss of inhibition, makes total tit of you and her by messaging all your mates about how she would hic just like, soooo, improve stuff at wherever they happen to work.

Only prob being that she does not, of course, have a fucking clue as zero understanding of underlying and immovable issues (like a store property base that takes years to churn through) nor possesses any business skills at all. Other than knows likes wine so will lob a few words to the Tesco Wine Buyer.

Winces. Gets coat.

Blondieminx Tue 04-Mar-14 21:31:31

You sound very defensive. I also notice you've only posted on the Mothercare threads.

If we're talking about wincing, then posting that the people who offered opinions are "clueless" (on a thread containing lots of professionals and retail workers!) comes across as rather spiteful and nasty.

LottieJenkins Mon 10-Mar-14 17:08:06

Why did you change the design of your window locks??? The old design was fine and the new ones are horrendous! I know they are meant to be made so children cant undo them but not adults too surely????

LottieJenkins Mon 10-Mar-14 17:08:53

Just realised this was an old thread........... hmm

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