FirstCry.com was in advanced stages of talks with DLF Brands before Reliance emerged and snapped up the rights.
Reliance Brands pipped FirstCry.com to obtain the rights to operate stores of UK-based kids products company Mothercare in India.
The deal will give the unit of Reliance Industries control over all Mothercare outlets currently run by DLF Brands, according to three people aware of the matter. Reliance Brands sells international labels such as Diesel, Hamleys, Kenneth Cole and Steve Madden in India.
According to the sources, FirstCry.com was in advanced stages of talks with DLF Brands before Reliance emerged and snapped up the rights.
After Mango, Forever 21 and Sephora, among other global labels, Mothercare is the latest brand to change hands from DLF Brands. Online fashion retailer Myntra.com acquired the local franchisee rights of Mango last year, while Forever 21’s India business was acquired by the Aditya Birla Group in 2016.
DLF Brands had bought the franchise rights of Mothercare for 15 years in 2009. The UK-based retailer sells products for children and expectant mothers and currently operates through dozens of outlets and department store chain Shoppers Stop.
According to RNCOS, a business consulting service firm, India’s baby care market is expected to post a CAGR of over 15% during 2015-2022. The market for baby and mother care products is growing on account of urbanisation, which has led to a rise in the number of nuclear families with both parents working. As a result, per capita expenditure on mother and child care has increased. Globally,
Mothercare’s international sales during the crucial Christmas trading period declined 3% year-on-year, while like-for-like sales in the UK fell 7.2% and online sales dropped 6.9%.
According to reports, the retailer reduced its total number of stores and discounted heavily in its end-of-season sale in its home country.