River Island has opened its first standalone children’s store, River Island Kids, in Glasgow’s Intu Braehead shopping centre.

The venture brings River Island into more direct competition with retailers ranging from Zara to Gap, both of which operate standalone childrenswear shops, as well as specialists such as Mothercare.

Childrenswear comprises 14.8% of the £44bn clothing market, according to data from Retail Economics.

It is of increasing interest to fashion retailers. Joules, for instance, attributed some of its growth to success in childrenswear when it unveiled full-year results last month.

The 3,000 sq ft River Island Kids store, which opened last weekend, is in the same area of the mall as the retailer’s eponymous branch, and sells babywear as well as apparel for children aged from three to teens.

River Island typically carries kidswear in its mainline branches and it is not clear whether it will open more standalone children’s shops.

No comment was available from River Island.