Dunelm is planning to install large Kiddicare shop-in-shops in as many as 50 of its stores, Retail Week can reveal.

The homewares retailer, which took over the baby and children’s brand as part of its Worldstores acquisition last year, said the first of the shop-in-shops will open at its Greenford store in West London this autumn.

Dunelm boss John Browett told Retail Week that, “assuming they work”, there’s scope to eventually open up to 50 Kiddicare shop-in-shops, each measuring around 9,000 sq ft.

For now the retailer will open three Kiddicare outlets in order to test its new proposition.

It comes as Dunelm relocates the one existing standalone Kiddicare shop to a nearby site at Peterborough One retail park.

The former landmark store was connected to the brand’s warehouse building in Peterborough, but following the acquisition, Dunelm moved Kiddicare’s warehouse operations into its own distribution centre in Stoke-on-Trent. 

Browett said the newly relocated store, also measuring around 9,000 sq ft, will provide a template for Dunelm’s impending shop-in-shops and will continue to be Kiddicare’s sole standalone site.

Dunelm snapped up the struggling Worldstores group – formed of the Worldstores, Kiddicare and Achica brands – last November for £8.5m, with a view to bolstering its own online and delivery propositions.

At the time Browett said the retailer would experiment with bringing some of the Kiddicare range into Dunelm shops.

During its heyday, Kiddicare sold to Morrisons for £70m in 2011, but then changed hands to Worldstores for just £2m in 2014.

At its half-year mark in February, the homewares specialist’s pre-tax profits fell 26%.

Browett said the retailer’s bottom line had been knocked by a temporary softening of the market, which timed badly with a period of significant investment.

Talking Shop with Dunelm chief executive John Browett