Trusted since 1961 by parents and parents-to-be, Mothercare is on the brink of an exciting new expansion – powered by people. And because they understand how important people like you are, they'll not only invest in your development, but also provide a welcoming environment in which you can build a successful career. Here, we find out what Mothercare itself says about the passion, the hard work and the fun at the heart of the UK’s leading childcare retailer.
How does Mothercare differ from other retailers?
Mothercare is a unique employer because we are one of the few companies in the retail sector whose customer comes to us at one of the most important stages in their lives. In fact, research tells us that over 90% of first time parents-to-be visit Mothercare for help and advice from our specialists.
Our people are trained to advise parents through the phases of their child’s development. It’s very special for us to see our customers’ needs change as their families grow. It is a very exciting time for them and a privilege for our people to have the opportunity to be involved.
Mothercare is also committed to ethical trade and is one of the few UK companies which has set up a working group under the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) to map its supply chain and audit factories.
And what's it like to work at Mothercare?
Mothercare always has been and always will be a fun and friendly place to work. At the moment it is also an extremely exciting place to be! Our CEO, Mark Newton Jones, has set out a clear strategy for Mothercare to become the leading retailer for parents and young children both in the UK and abroad. Our people are core to us achieving this objective.
We want to ensure that the customer is at the very heart of our business. To make this happen, we are expanding and substantially refurbishing our UK stores, and our digital offering is being transformed. However, it’s also about our people, after all, it is through them that our customers experience our brand. We are very excited about what the future holds for Mothercare!
Mothercare is a company with a long heritage, how do you keep the excitement?
Whilst we are proud to maintain old fashioned values like excellent customer advice and service that one would expect from our ‘heritage’ brand, we also stock well known product ranges, including Blooming Marvellous, Little Joule, Polarn O Pyret, Maclaren and many more. We collaborate closely with both Myleene Klass on her Baby K clothing range and with Jools Oliver on her Little Bird range.
Many of our stores include soft play areas for children and coffee areas for customers, as well as classes and activities for parents, toddlers and babies. Under our refurbishment plans, more stores like this are on the way. Watch this space!
What makes the company a cut above other employers?
Most readers will know what it feels like to experience service from a happy and motivated staff member in any store. A recent consumer survey listed Mothercare as one of the most trusted retail brands in the UK*. (*OC&C Consumer Survey (June 2014); Conquest OC&C analysis)
We recognise that our people play a large part in achieving that level of trust. We care about our people and our customers and understand the importance of a happy, motivated team because our people are often the only interaction our customer has with our brand. This is the starting point for our training, remuneration and career progression.
In addition, we are a company that recognises hard work and provides opportunities. We invest in our people to develop a specialism. Whatever their role in Mothercare, our people have the chance to shape the business in a very real way.
What does the future hold for the company and its employees?
The future is great for our employees. The investment in change means that in 3-5 years Mothercare will be transformed into a digitally led business with modern stores and infrastructure. Parts of our business will look very different, but what will remain is our brand heritage, the expertise of our people, commitment to our customers and pride and passion for everything we do.
Something we may not know about Mothercare...
We have a large international presence with some 1,500 stores in over 60 countries but even in our home market, we are a trailblazer. We were one of the first companies in the UK to develop a range of premature baby clothes with features such as scratch free Velcro, labels on the outside and sleep suits that open all the way around so that a baby can be dressed in and out around any medical tubes/lines.
Jane Newberry is Group Resourcing Manager at Mothercare Plc. She oversees recruitment at Mothercare’s Retail Support Centre and in store.
What do you expect from a great candidate?
A great candidate is somebody who is enthusiastic in their role, passionate about delivering outstanding customer service and has a genuine interest in making our business a success.
Three words to describe the perfect candidate?
Passionate, caring and flexible.
What is the number one thing a candidate can do that will impress when it comes to interview?
First is the ability to interact well, to be professional and engaging. After all, the ability to interact with our customers is core to our business. I’m also impressed by candidates who carry out research prior to the interview. Understanding the business, the brand and why they would be a great ‘fit’ makes a very positive first impression!
It’s important to us that when you join Mothercare, you feel at ease as quickly as possible. Which is why you’ll undergo an intensive induction process to learn about our organisation, your team and the skills and knowledge you’ll need to succeed in your new role.
Mothercare’s retail division has a structured career path which guides our people from their first day right through to being a Store Manager. This is often the career path our managers follow.
Our retail induction programme will give you a good knowledge of the Mothercare Group’s products, policies, procedures and systems. As you progress you’ll have the opportunity to develop your management skills through instore training as well as through workshop-based learning.
We operate two brands – Mothercare and Early Learning Centre – and we encourage our people to move across brands to gain breadth and depth of experience to progress their career.
We also offer secondments into our retail support centre roles. This gives our people the opportunity to experience different aspects of our business. Many of our retail support centre staff have come from a stores background.
We are recruiting now for store opportunities nationwide, apply here.
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