Saturday, 23 October 2010

Boycott Mothercare and Early Learning Centre

The Mothercare group is comprised principally of two iconic retail brands with strong international presence; Mothercare and Early Learning Centre.

The group's brands operate through three distinct channels to market; UK stores, Direct (being the in-home and in-store internet-based businesses and catalogue mail order), and International, under which the group franchises (or participates in joint venture) operations delivering the Mothercare and Early Learning Centre brand retail operations in overseas markets.

Mothercare is one of the most familiar names in UK retailing, and is probably the first store that comes to mind when thinking of the needs of pregnant women, babies and children up to the age of 10. There is a lot of overlap with ELC in the post-natal market and so their merger and co-location of stores makes sense from a business perspective. As well as their strong UK presence the Group own 450 Mothercare and 150 Early Learning Centre stores abroad. This is Big Business.

I hope the Mumsnet people follow up this boycott option.

Ben Gordon is their Chief Executive. Appointed in December 2002. Formerly Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Disney Store, Europe and Asia Pacific. Has also held senior management positions with the WHSmith Group in Europe and the USA and L'Oreal S.A., Paris. Non-Executive Director of Britvic plc. (We'll come back to Britvic in another post.)

On 18th October Ben Gordon signed an open letter calling on the Chancellor to continue the coalition government's plans to reduce the public finance deficit in one term, plans which included swingeing cuts on the poorest members of society and which risk pushing this country into a double-dip recession, the likes of which has not been seen since, well since the last time the tories took power and tanked economy in the early 80's.

For this reason Ben is considered a fully signed up member of the Big Business Society and we urge people to boycott Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre. Despite their ubiquitous presence on the High Street Mothercare and ELC are far from the only brands address the parent-to-be and younger child market. We would urge consumers to look at Baby Planet, Bras4Mums, and for example. Why should we boycott Ben's businesses? Because, as an ex senior manager at L'Oreal, he's worth it (sorry couldn't resist that).


  1. Mothercare and Early Learning Centre support for the cuts is particuarly despicable given how women are to be disproportionally affected by them.

  2. Good point Pamela. Perhaps if the ConDems had more women in their ranks, they might have considered this. How many of the 29 people attending cabinet are women? Four!

    And the highest placed female cabinet member, Theresa May, is hardly a bastion of equality herself.