Mothercare plc (LSE: MTC) is a British retailer which specialises in products for expectant mothers and in general merchandise for children up to 8 years old. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index.
The Company was founded by Selim Zilkha and Sir James Goldsmith in 1961. It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1972.
In 1982, it merged with Habitat to form Habitat Mothercare plc. In 1986, Habitat Mothercare plc merged with British Home Stores, to form Storehouse plc. In January 1996, it bought Children's World from Boots, and rebranded all of their superstores Mothercare World stores. In 2000, the Bhs stores were sold to Philip Green, and Storehouse reverted to the Mothercare brand.
In June 2007, Mothercare bought the Early Learning Centre (ELC) for £85 million. In October 2007, Mothercare launched Gurgle, a pregnancy and parenting social networking website. In November 2009, Mothercare acquired the 50% of Gurgle that it did not already own.
In July 2010, Mothercare bought the trademark and brand of privately owned rival Blooming Marvellous. In May 2011, it was reported that Mothercare was set to undergo a major restructure in their retail sector, resulting in an undisclosed number ELC stores moving into neighbouring Mothercare stores to lower costs.
The company operates online, on the High Street and out of town, and in November 2009 had over 1,060 stores worldwide of which 389 were in the United Kingdom, and 671 were abroad in 38 other countries.
In Ukraine, the Mothercare brand is represented by MBGroup LLC. Ukrainian Mothercare stores are the same as their European counterparts, with British representatives carefully monitoring the quality of the stores and their staff. The flagship store was opened in August 2004, in Kiev's premier shopping mall "Globus".
It is the largest Mothercare store in Ukraine, both in terms of size and range of products. After rapid expansion, the Mothercare brand is represented in the Ukraine by over twenty stores in Kiev, and several additional stores in Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Odessa, Donetsk, Vinnytsia and Zaporizhya.
In 1983, M.H. Alshaya began its first franchise operation with the Mothercare brand in Kuwait, which was also its first international store. Alshaya now delivers the Mothercare brand to parents across the Middle East, and North Africa, Central & Eastern Europe and Russia.