In a time when high street stores are dying on their arses, and internet shopping is taking over, Kiddicare have done something very clever, unlike a similar competitor Tractorsupply. They’ve taken their good online model, and made it work offline, in bricks and mortar stores. Starting with just one store, the company, owned by Morrisons then bought ten former ‘Best Buy’ stores, and at a cost of £15 million turned them into Kiddicare stores, and it seems to be money well spent.

I was invited to the Blogger #KiddicareHayes event yesterday, and was able to take a look around their newest store in Hayes, Middlesex. Generally, Kiddicare stores are largely the same, but it’s there’s good reason behind it, it’s a fabulous format for a store.


The first thing you notice is the SIZE of the stores, they are MASSIVE, despite the size, the layout has been carefully considered. It’s not jam packed with shelving and displays that you have to battle round, they actually have thought that parents will be going round with buggies, trolleys and crazy assed toddlers. Also pretty much everything going is out on display and ready for you to play with. From Buggies, to Beds, to Toys they usually have at least one demo model of a product out for you to try.


We found it invaluable when we were looking for a baby carrier for J – we’d seen a few online. That’s all well and good, but it was fab to go to Kiddicare, pick one up, adjust it, and actually PUT J in and test it. When you’re spending a fair wodge of money on something, it’s great to try before you buy, there’s no need to fret about buying it, getting it home, finding it’s wrong,etc. Another good example is their massive range of stair gates, they are all set up in pretend doorways so you can actually test them. Genius!

When it comes to buying car seats too, as well as having the experts on hand to help you, they’ve got a fabulous ‘queuing’ system for busy days. You just tap your details in on a tablet, including your mobile number and you get put in a virtual queue which is displayed on a large screen. So you don’t have to stand watching a screen, they’ll text you automatically when it’s your turn to be seen.

20130807_113458The facilities in store are very good too, there is a cafe selling all manner of tasty goods, we got J a lunchbox, which included a sandwich, carrot stix, apple and grapes, Fromage frais and drink for £3. They also do baby food (Hipp and Ella’s Kitchen), plus adult food too. It’s all very fairly priced and really very tasty the cafe also has a play area that you can put your little ones in to play, J loved it in there! They also have a large ‘pod’ for mothers to breastfeed should they wish to do so away from the busy store. Also special mention must be made to the toilets too, they are perfectly equipped for children and adults, and the ‘communal’ baby change area is great. As a Dad I’m amazed that so many places only have baby change facilities in the female toilets, it’s good that every parent is equal to Kiddicare.

Something that is rarely seen in the UK are the price tags on the shelf – they are all electronic – they have screens very similar to those on a ‘Kindle’. The electronic tags mean that prices can be altered almost instantly, keeping them bang up to date with little margin for discrepancies. Kiddicare do seem to be very hot on their pricing, I actually saw a senior member of stuff checking prices on Amazon. Also the online and offline prices of Kiddicare stores are the same, I guess the electronic price tags keep this beautifully in sync. The only problem is with the electronic tag is they seem to be a toddler magnet, J kept trying to grab them! Thankfully none of them got ripped off and in his mouth!


There are also terminals around the store for you to ‘Buy Online’ so if you find an item of furniture, or product that won’t fit in your car, you can just buy one from the terminal and have it delivered to your door. There are just lots of cool little quirks to shopping there, and I think that is why they are doing so well. Online shopping is all well and good, I’m a massive user of the ‘1 Click Checkout’ on Amazon, and I’ll normally get what I want next day. But it’s good to be able to walk in a shop pick up what you want, give it a good test and once over, and walk out with it, happy you’ve paid a fair price.

I did see that Dixons concept stores of the future would be tablets that you can flick through products, and look at them on a tiny tablet. Who wants to do that? If you’re spending hundreds or thousands on something, you want to actually have a look at it in the flesh first! I’m a massive Kiddicare fan now, and I think if you’re a parent, or about to become one, then there really is no better place to shop for stuff for your little one!

10 thoughts on “Kiddicare – The future of shopping?

  1. justanormalmummy says:

    Sounds good 😉 only problem is when I go there I tend to bankrupt myself… I’m a sucker for anything shiny and new :))) lol

  2. New Mum Online says:

    We are now going really often having recently discovered them. I have been about 3 times in as many months and I LOVE THE LUNCH there which is so very reasonable. Love the vibe too. Ours is quite often quiet but I hope they take off as they are beautiful stores with lovely staff/service xx

  3. Kiddicare Don't Care says:

    Great write up Kip, did you notice the “We’ll Beat Any Price” signs around the store?

    You can see two of them in your first exterior picture, the A frame to the right of the door is a single large one, then it’s also in the green speech bubble on the large sign on the left of the picture.

    In your wide second picture you can see an A4 sign above the grey Oyster pushchair accessories, the large cube hanging from the ceiling to the left of the “Walk In the Park” archway, a large gondola end sign under the white “Please Pay Here” sign, on the roof of the Baby Gift List & Registry desk.

    The even have one not shown in your photos the same size as the “0% FINANCE NOW AVAILABLE” above the prams!

    The reason I asked you before your visit to ask about the policy was that Kiddicare decided to remove it and sent an email to all existing customers on Wednesday 24th July announcing the new policy was just “We’ll Match Any Price”, replacing the original Beat with Match.
    It’s total down to Kiddicare if and when they change their policies, however they actually changed before a single notification went out. The website was still claiming “We’ll Beat Any Price”, yet when challenged by customers they point blank refused this. The in store signs at all of the stores have never been taken down, so at Lakeside or any at the other existing store the signs have been in place since they were put up.

    Kiddicare refused to honour the promise, and even when pointed out that online, in-store and on all point of sale, leaflets, posters, even the till receipt had the policy printed on it they still refused to honour it – this unfortunately led to the break several laws.

    They tried to stonewall customers refusing the to speak to anyone to complain about, they brushed off the policy on social networks claiming that they would update the website soon…

    When confronted in store the Rotherham manager agreed that it was unfair and Kiddicare had got it wrong, he claimed he would call Alex Fisher the Commercial Director to get him to respond to their customers. Lee Humphries called Mr Fisher up on a Saturday knowing how important this matter was and to give him the opportunity to sort it out, however Mr Fisher did nothing over the weekend, he did nothing on Monday morning when he returned into work, he did nothing for the rest of the week.

    It was only after the following weekend after protests on the phone, and on the social media sites did the Kiddicare Management actually have a meeting about the situation and bother to return the call to the customer that had been waiting almost nine days.

    He claimed that Kiddicare was like many companies and makes mistakes, he didn’t want to defend his company policies/staff who blocked any contact with managers on the phone. However he did admit the policy had been rolled out too soon, and that signage that was only being put up that same day was already obsolete displaying incorrect Kiddicare Promises.

    They took the decision on Monday this week after pressure from customers and the Advertising Stands Agency to restore the original Price Match Policy for a very limited time, to end in line with the end of the existing Sale.
    Kiddicare refuse to give a date to the end of the sale, although there are legally limits to how long a sale can go on for.
    I personally don’t believe Kiddicare can manage to replace every Price Match Policy statement within this time for all stores so it will be monitored when they attempt to bring it again.
    In the meantime they promised to change the terms and conditions on the website and the logos within a couple of days back so they were legal again.

    We await the response and full finding from ASA.

    • Kip Hakes says:

      Arrgh! I knew I was meant to ask something! I did notice the ‘We’ll beat any price’ signs on the security alarms as you go into the toilets. Let me wave your comments under the nose of someone there.


    • Kiddicare says:

      Hi Mark, Kip’s asked me to reply to your comment as a representative of Kiddicare. Thank you again for raising your concerns. We do sincerely apologise for the less than acceptable journey you experienced with our customer care team. This matter is being investigated separately. As Alex said when you spoke with him last week, we are planning to change our price match policy across our web and store estate in the coming months. However, we do totally accept that the ‘bit by bit’ changeover was confusing to customers. Therefore, we have reverted to the old price match policy, where we will beat any price (by offering 25% of the difference and matching the competitor price). This policy will remain in place until we’re in a place to make the change across our channels. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to be able to confirm when this change will take place. We thank you again for your comments and would ask that if you have further issues to raise them via Best, Kiddicare

      • Kiddicare Don't Care says:

        Hi Kiddicare, Just to clarify I didn’t speak to Alex last week, it was this week, I had hoped to speak to him last week but he decided against contacting me!
        The ‘bit by bit’ changeover of the policy is not confusing, it’s just simply breaking the law.
        You were given the opportunity on numerous occasions by email to the and by phone to honour your advertised statement yet on each occasion you declined to honour your promise and refused to escalate the issue to anyone higher.
        It’s a shame Kiddicare will ONLY respond to customers when in a public forum which exposes the poor customer service. Your decision to only show positive feedback on your own website witholding the negative feedback without clarification of this I also think is dishonest – if you didn’t use DPD to fulfil the delivery you would have a lot less feedback as it really is a wall of their service rather than yours.
        I appreciate your response and will add this to the site which you monitor almost every 10 minutes.

    • Kip Hakes says:

      I work at home, I don’t sleep much, I like to be first.. Somewhere in there, lies your answer 😉

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