After doing lots of research for pushchairs and travel systems online and getting overwhelmed with all the choices, we decided to visit our nearest retail shops (in Coventry) to get a better idea of what we’re after. Here’s my thoughts on the Mothercare and Babies R Us shops…
2 out of 5 – Good for convenience but disappointing range
First we went to Mothercare (at the Central Six retail park in Coventry) and the first thing the hubby said was “is this it?” the moment we walked in the door. Not a good start, but as it was the first time we’ve properly visited a baby shop with a mission to try out travel systems, we remained upbeat.
- Convenient – although the shop isn’t huge they seem to stock all types of items including pushchairs, car seats, high chairs, bouncers, toys, clothes (kids and maternity) and smaller essentials like bottles and toiletries so would be convenient if you’ve ran out of something or have a need for something quickly.
- Plenty Special Offers – there were plenty offers on various products as well as fully-priced items.
- Spacious Layout – everything was laid out well with enough space to have a better look at products.
- Baby Plan – Mothercare offer the option to pay for items over 6 months, and can deliver items closer to your due date, which would be quite handy if we were to buy all our products from one place.
- Lacking Product Range – yes they did stock many types of products, but the range of pushchairs, furniture and car seats seemed pretty dire to be honest. Most of the pushchairs were Mothercare’s own branded pushchairs which didn’t give us a feel for the different styles available, which was the main purpose of our visit.
- Customer Service – I can’t really comment on the standard of customer service because we weren’t asked by any of the wandering staff if we’d like help or if we’d like to look at the pushchairs closely. This did surprise me since we were hovering around the pushchairs for 5-10 minutes, clearly having a good look at the way they work and comparing prices. (Having said that, we did see one woman demonstrating a buggy to another couple and she did seem helpful).
Will we go back? Definitely won’t be buying anything big from there (pushchair, furniture or car seats) but would go for smaller essential items such as baby clothes or toiletries.
Babies R Us
3.5 out of 5 – Good range and great special offers
We didn’t actually plan to go to Babies R Us but as none of the travel systems in Mothercare took our fancy, we needed to see more! Our local shop is at the Cross Point Business Park, just off Junction 2 of the M6.
- Wide Product Range – there was a good enough range of different pushchairs and travel systems from a variety of brands (Graco, Silver Cross, Petite Star, Joie) which helped us in getting a better idea of the styles we like and what we can get for our budget.
- Great Offers – there were plenty of special offers available on the products we saw and the pricing was a lot clearer than in Mothercare. They also have paper tickets with the prices on them that are for taking up to the till to be scanned, but I found this handy for keeping a record of prices if shopping around.
- Good Customer Service – we were approached by a friendly assistant within a few minutes which was helpful. She approached us with a smile but wasn’t at all pushy or invading on our personal space.
- Lack of Essentials – in comparison to Mothercare, there weren’t as many smaller essentials so it wouldn’t be somewhere I’d go if I needed to stock up on bibs for example.
- Awkward Layout – as the Babies R Us section is a smaller section within the Toys R Us store, it does mean you have to walk through a winding toy aisle before reaching the baby products so you will have to dodge a few kids if you go when it’s busy. Not really an issue for me personally, but it might annoy some mums with a buggy and kids who run around and want everything in sight!
I’d imagine we will go back to this particular shop in the future. Obviously we’ll shop around online to make sure we get the best deal but would happily buy from Babies R Us.
I’m aware that Mothercare and Babies R Us shops in other towns or cities will differ to the ones I’ve visited, so I would keep an open mind. I’d say the best thing to do if you’re in a similar situation as me (pregnant for the first time and researching different options) is to visit as many local shops to you as you can as there does seem to be a lot of difference in the products stocked and although I still haven’t bought or decided on a pushchair/travel system yet, I certainly feel like I have a better idea!
Our next visit will be Kiddicare, which I’m hoping is as good as I’ve heard. I’m looking forward to going somewhere we can browse for longer than 10 minutes!
What are your favourite shops for buying baby products? If you already have all the big items like pushchairs and furniture – do you even still visit the high street or do you tend to buy online? Let me know in the comments below!Pin It