Mamas & Papas expansion drive

Mamas & Papas, the nursery specialist, is on the expansion trail and plans to open up to 10 stores this year.

The retailer has 17 shops and aims to expand its presence in shopping malls, following a successful trial of a smaller store-type at Solihull in the West Midlands' Touchwood Centre.

Mamas & Papas previously focused on out-of-town stores. Deputy chief executive Richard Faulkner said newly-recruited property director, Nigel Gregory will lead the expansion. He joined the business last week.

Faulkner said: 'We will still pursue the 10,000 sq ft [930 sq m out-of-town) concept, but now that the concept is right for 2,500 sq ft72172[230 sq m) units, we will pursue that too.'

A second, smaller store will open at Basingstoke's Festival Place at the end of April. At 205 sq m Faulkner said the shop will probably be the smallest size Mamas & Papas will go to.

'It will be a bestsellers store. We will have all the categories in, but not in so much depth,' he said.

Mamas & Papas has just appointed design agency Four IV to look at stores' design.

Faulkner said an initial review has proved that shops are working well, but Four IV will help Mamas & Papas tweak its point-of-sale materials and ticketing in-store, as well as work on a consultative basis in the future.