Mothercare is a worldwide franchise of maternity and baby stores headquartered in the UK. Since 2018, after bankruptcy, parent company Mothercare Plc has been owned by Boots, and its products are sold on the new owner’s network. Foreign representation includes 734 stores in 40 countries.
Meaning and History
What is Mothercare?
Mother and child stores that have existed in the UK since 1961. Franchised in 40 countries and managed by Boots since 2019.
Emigrant Selim Zilkhe, having arrived in England in 1960, immediately saw a free niche in the field of selling goods for pregnant women. And in 1961, thanks to the financing of billionaire James Goldsmith, he opened the first store. Great demand allowed for seven years to develop a network of up to 100 outlets. After merging with Hobitat in 1982, Zilkhe sold his stake and left England. But this did not affect the fate of the company. The brand went through several important mergers and, by 2000, had taken a leading position among its partners, which led to the renaming of the holding to Mothercare Plc.
The brand logo has been updated three times, but always with blue hues and the chain’s name. Major upgrades have been associated with mergers and company expansions.
1945 – 1985
The idea of the first logo turned out to be very successful and immediately attracted the attention of customers. However, the business was not typical for England – it was the first such store.
The name with the stylized letter M is used as an emblem. The name of the company itself informs about the sale of goods for children and expectant mothers. The translation of Mothercare is “care for the mother,” and when written separately, “maternal care.” Therefore, there are no other signatures indicating the direction of activity in the logo.
The idea of care and protection is also reflected in the first capital letter of Mazekey, stylized as a capital “m,” with a small man inside one of its arches. The image simultaneously symbolizes the baby in the womb and the newborn in the arms of the mother. The child is hidden from all adversity, covered with a dome of maternal love.
As a sign of its particular concern for mothers, the company began mailing merchandise the year after the store opened to help women who had trouble getting out to shop.
1985 – 1994
In 1982, the management company merged with the large furniture chain Habitat (Habitat Mothercare plc). This expanded Mazekey’s capabilities, and from 1984, the retailer began to open branches abroad in the form of franchises.
The brand logo was simplified, allowing franchisees to design stores to their liking. The new visual badge consisted of a simple inscription: Mothercare in dark blue. The translation of the name told consumers what kind of goods the store offered. The lack of images and features made the visual mark poor and uninteresting. The only nice touch is the smooth rounding at the ends of the letters. They added softness and friendliness.
1994 – 2009
Storehouse, a company formed from the merger of Habitat Mothercare plc with British Home Stores plc, has been regrouped into three divisions led by David Dworkin. He sold some of the brands, including Hobitat. And for Mazekeya, which has become the central brand of its Specialty Retailing division, he carried out a rebranding.
The new logo looked rich and reflected the company’s international expansion. For the first time in history, the emblem received a background: an oval with tapered edges. It symbolized the globe. The softly rounded shape complemented the name, reminiscent of a caring hug.
Unlike the usual blue tone, the updated emblem is presented in Viridian Green (green with blue). The color of the sea wave created a feeling of calm and symbolized the birth of a new life.
The letters of the name and the edging, placed at some distance from the edge, received white color. Its purity is the personification of innocence, newborn, good thoughts, the beginning of a journey, and a hint of an updated company strategy.
2009 – today
In 2009, the company became the owner of the Internet network for expectant mothers, Gurgle, with 100,000 users. The brand needed the image of an expert, able to give competent advice and respond to the needs of young parents. Therefore, the modern logo returned to its roots and borrowed a security element from the first emblem – a baby in the arch of the letter “m.” This provided the company with a friendlier visual image. It focused on the experience’s long history and ensured the brand’s memorability. The small pictogram in the modern logo is not part of the name but is separated into a separate picture, placed under the Mothercare inscription. It helps to mark brand publications on the Internet, providing recognition.
Starting in 2017, the number of stores in England decreased, and in 2019 the company went bankrupt and was taken over by Boots for ten years. All shops have closed. Goods are sold through Boots points. However, the sale of Mothercare franchises to other countries continues.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
Various shades of blue are used for all company logos:
- Delicate “childish” blue – appeared in the first version of the emblem. This is the color of childhood, dreaminess.
- Dark blue – communicates the experience of the company and inspires confidence.
- The color of the sea wave – reflects the depth and tranquility. The sea is the birthplace of life. The combination of blue (dreams) and green (life) indicates the embodiment of desires and aspirations.
- Astronomical blue – the color of the modern emblem reflects calmness, order, global scale, and balance.
The logo font corresponds to DIN Neuzeit Grotesk Pro.