MNHQ here: thoughts on Mothercare (NOW CLOSED)(147 Posts)
The BBC have been in touch with Mumsnet to gauge your opinions on Mothercare.
We'd love to hear anything and everything you've got to say -- do you shop at Mothercare? (Or have you in the past?) If so, what do you like about it? If not, why not? How does it compare to the alternatives? What does it do well, and what less well? Have your views changed over time?
Please feel free to post in as much or as little detail as you'd like.
Maternity jeans very poor quality.
Dreadful. Dingy lighting, not enough staff and the ones that are there are unhelpful, cluttered stores. I'd not been in for about 20 years (my DC are adults) but I went in recently with my Dsis to find that nothing has changed in the intervening years.
I got some terry babygros in there that i couldn't find elsewhere, so I was pleased. They have a baby change room which is a bonus. They have a big variety of products but I mostly use Amazon these days, Prime is just so convenient.
My nearest one has closed down
I used to go in there but I never bought anything. Too expensive for one and when I was looking at the prams, no staff member was willing to help. If I managed to get the attention of one, they had no idea what I was talking about and just nodded to whatever I said
The maternity range is badly fitting and most of the products (baby equipment etc) is expensive. I like the toddler clothes though.
The last time I ordered something from Mothercare only one of the items I ordered was delivered. I contacted them and was told to wait a few more days for the rest of the order. When it still didn't arrive a few days later I contacted them again and was advised that the other items were not available and because of this had never been sent. I was refunded but it took me chasing them for this information to be passed on to me - not great customer service.
It is very stuck in a time warp, its expensive, quality is mediocre and choice is very limited. The shop layout and décor is very uninviting.
There are many other shops which do what mothercare are doing, cheaper better with a wider range of choice.
I was in one local to me recently actually. I looked around and couldn't really work out what it was for.
There wasn't a wide choice of essentials - less than Boots.
The clothing there looks similar to all the supermarket baby and toddler clothing - but twice the price.
And the toys and prams and furniture can all be bought cheaper online.
People who want to try before they buy would bebbetter going to a specialist pram place or John Lewis.
I was looking for a tasteful new baby present and couldn't find anything. I ordered from JL instead.
I just looked at their website prior to writing this, thinking that maybe they're specialising more in on-line stuff now and the website is a mess. And 60% discounts on some toys but even the reduced prices looks higher than Amazon.
I like them in principle. But regularly find the customer service appalling. Most recently I bought a pair of slippers for DS but unfortunately they were in the wrong size. The v straight forward initial sale required 2 staff members. The only fractionally more complicated return the following day required 3 staff members, including a manager who said to the other two staff "you'll get a lot of this at this time of year" & "this is why we need a manager behind the tills at all times". I felt like an inconvenience but I felt more for the two staff members.
Planned to buy our car seat from mothercare but after attempting to fit it was told the one we wanted was incompatible with our car. Wasn't sure which seat to get instead so we went to the in car safety centre for some advise. We mentioned that we had been told the seat we had planned to buy didn't fit. They said without any prompting from us "was this mothercare by any chance?". The seat did fit after all. So mothercare lost a purchase there and by the sounds of it we were not the only ones to have this problem.
Some of the clothes are nice but there is an awful lot of pink for girls, blue for boys type clothes.
Staff always seem harassed and complain about being short staffed/not having had their breaks etc. It's usually quite hard to find a member of staff too.
Good baby change/feeding room in our local one though.
Every branch I went to had out-of-order toilets or none at all, and no chairs to sit down in to feed my baby. Every single time. And they couldn't figure out how to recline or fold my buggy (a Maclaren XT, nothing obscure).
I got things to help with breastfeeding there (or rather MrNC did, and they were very helpful when he got there 5 min before closing), and returned others no problem, but since then they've generally been understaffed, out of stock, etc. They did finally start selling some more washable nappies by the time I stopped needing them.
Given so many toy shops have closed down, I think some toys for slightly older children might help get people in - there's so much competition for most of the other stuff they sell.
Pregnant with my first, so no prior experience of Mothercare. Have to say we've bought most of our baby stuff from there, either in store or online. Seems we're lucky with out local store - it's lovely, light and stocked with most of what we need. Staff are really useful, and answered all of my weird questions. It is expensive though, so we've (perhaps cheekily) looked in store for what we like, and then purchased elsewhere. Only thing I've found is the website is so annoying to navigate, and the payment sometimes freezes, empties basket and I can never be bothered to go through all the rigmarole again.
I like to go and have a look and try things then I buy the same things (e.g. My pram and cot) cheaper online.
The clothes are priced similar to m and s and John Lewis but are not as good quality or as nice looking.
I think they may be suffering a bit because they've not changed in the last 11 years (since I had my first child) but the marketplace has.
Our local mother are is very understaffed, the family in front of us walked out without their shopping due to having been unable to get anyone's attention at the till. This was not a one off thing, every time I go in (rarely now which is a shame as I quite like a browse) I get either terrible customer service or nobody is available to help with bigger purchases or nobody is on the shop floor to help with queries. Really puts me off.
Why are there so many staff behind the till who won't serve customers?! At the two branches I've been into recently (100s miles apart) there have been six staff members behind the till but just one serving. I also refuse to give my email address, I don't see why they should have it every time I shop.
No staff to help, not enough stock and way overpriced
I've had good experiences with the three I've visited.
One in London which was just down the road was excellent - convenient (due to location) and the staff were always helpful and interacted well with the children. They also helped the children's granny once when she was in the car park (which was for the entire shopping centre and quite a walk from MC) and couldn't work out how to put the pram up. The pram wasn't even from MC, but they helped her which was lovely.
Another branch had the most wonderfully relaxing feeding room - I went in there with a BFing friend and it was really peaceful. She was having a lot of trouble with feeding at the time, and really spoke highly of that private space. There was also a cafe where her DH could wait while she fed.
And the third is one in a small retail park (so very good parking right outside) with a shoe-fitting service. It meant avoiding the busy high street and expensive town centre parking for shoe fitting.
I should mention, I'm an ex nanny rather than parent, so I can't comment on value for money etc but my experiences with them have always been positive.
I went off them when they measured me before my baby arrived and informed me that my boobs were not a size they stocked as they were too big. I am a perfectly normal size if you don't think anything above a DD is massive.
It's incredibly expensive for what it is, and doesn't seem to stock a particularly wide range in any of the stores I've been to.
Expecting DC1 in Feb, have bought pretty much everything for the baby now and not a single thing from mothercare.
Two years ago when I was pregnant with DC1 I ordered a load of stuff from Mothercare (£100+) to be delivered, and an absolute shit storm erupted. City Link failed to deliver three times ("we tried to deliver but no one was in", despite me waiting in the house and no note being left - turned out the order wasn't even out for delivery) and in the end I had to travel to collect my order. The staff at City Link were rude and gave me false information when asked for staff names etc.
I emailed Mothercare to let them know about my experience, and suggested they terminate their partnership with City Link as they were clearly incompetent and damaging Mothercare's reputation.
No one cried when City Link folded a few weeks later.
As for the stores, I do find them dirty and dusty and the staff are unknowledgeable about car seats and prams.
However, I do like that they sell body vests and sleep suits up to age 2-3. My large toddler still needs them but it's very difficult to find any above size 18-24m.
I haven't shopped in one in years. I'm not even sure where our nearest one is since the high street one (in a big city) shut a couple of years ago.
I won't use them anyway since they somehow managed to lose my online order in their system a week before I was due with DS. It was a big order with a cot, pram, car seat etc. They insisted it must be my fault as they couldn't find it on their computer (and the attitude on the phone was that as I was pregnant I must be confused). Once I provided the proof I had actually placed the order and had email confirmation of this (and pointed out that they had my money) they grudgingly admitted it was their mistake and very huffily reordered it.
No apology of course.
It seems the sort of place that you go and look then buy whatever it is from somewhere else a lot cheaper.
Plus Jools Oliver clothing. Really?
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