Morrisons buys Best Buy stores for Kiddicare expansion

Best Buy store in the West Midlands
Image caption Most of the Best Buy stores will become superstores for childcare products

Morrisons, which owns the Kiddicare brand, is buying 10 former Best Buy stores to expand the childcare products chain.

The supermarket bought Kiddicare, which is best best-known as an internet retailer, last year for £70m.

Morrisons will spend £15m converting the outlets and says it will create 700 jobs as part of its plan to give the chain a physical retail presence.

Kiddicare currently only runs one store, which is in Peterborough.

It is the largest children's outlet in Europe.

The new outlets will offer drive-in services such as children's car seat-fitting.

Kiddicare chief executive Scott Weavers-Wright said: "These 10 flagship stores will put Kiddicare within easy driving distance of nearly a third of the UK population."

Kiddicare's main rival, Mothercare, has been struggling to reverse falling sales.

The purchase leaves just one Best Buy store - the one in Derby. The chain was brought to the UK through a joint venture between its US parent and Carphone Warehouse.

They were intended to shake up electrical retailing, but were closed this month.

Kiddicare said that although the acquisition would create 700 jobs, it would not be taking on the 1,100 former Best Buy workers, who are understood to have taken other roles within Carphone Warehouse.

Morrisons plans to start opening the new stores in Merry Hill, Aintree, Rotherham, Nottingham, Thurrock, Hedge End, Croydon, Hayes, Bristol and Enfield by the autumn.

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