Retail News: Mothercare merges teams

Mothercare is to combine its buying and marketing teams under buying director Gillian Berkmen as part of a restructure.

Head of marketing Anna James will be promoted to strategy and e-commerce director, while Tamara Sanghvi, former head of brand at Disneyland Resorts, has joined as head of product marketing.

Sanghvi will be responsible for the retailer's in-store activity, including point-of-sale, brand-building and promotional activity.

The restructure follows the departure of head of business development Tony Holdway, who has joined Woolworths as head of brand communications (Marketing, 10 August).

The retailer, which has concentrated its spend on direct marketing in recent years, is considering a return to advertising next year. It recently ran a series of ads created by NB Studio in the national press and OK!

Mothercare is no longer working with St Luke's, which was appointed to run its £3m ad business last February. The agency had produced a radio campaign for the retailer.

Mothercare's results for the 28 weeks preceding 8 October showed its sales were up 1% to £215m. It has about 230 UK stores but in recent years has come under pressure from other babycare specialists such as Mamas & Papas and supermarkets.

Mothercare chief executive Ben Gordon said the retailer will build on its reputation as a specialist and is seeking to grow the mail-order side of the business.

It also plans to expand its overseas operation - last year the retailer opened 29 stores, taking its total international chain to 247 outlets.

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