Mothercare widens media reach for gifts

Mothercare is set for a media relations blitz that moves beyond parenting titles to publicise its move into gifting as it looks to broaden its customer base.

The retailer stocks gifts for children up to six years old, but will extend its range from March 2005 to cater for other gifting occasions such as co-workers buying for maternity leavers, or fathers for mothers, with prices ranging from £8 to £75.

The move promises to extend its appeal beyond mothers, to include those who might not normally shop at Mothercare, said head of consumer and corporate relations Sandra Bull.

The PR campaign will reflect this broader target and even include lads’ magazines with products such as a ‘Wet the Baby’s Head’ whisky flask.

‘You would never have thought that Mothercare and FHM would have any kind of relevance together, but we would hope this might bring that,’ said Bull.

Shopping pages of nationals are the main focus of the campaign, which will also address women’s lifestyle magazines, regional papers and TV programmes such as This Morning and GMTV.

A six-month launch PR campaign by August.One Communications begins this month by targeting long-lead titles, in time for the March launch of the gifting range that will boast its own section in stores, with cards and wrapping also available.

Bull said the gifting campaign is Mothercare’s biggest PR drive this financial year and it plays a key role as the retailer puts in place a recovery plan, with the gifting products positioned as upmarket and aspirational.

Mothercare moved back into profit in the 12 months to 27 March 2004, recording a before tax £23.9m after a loss of £24.8m the previous year.

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