Like many parents, Mamas and Papas is a brand very close to my heart. It was one of the first baby shops I let myself venture into when I found out I was pregnant with Lucas and I allowed myself to buy a jingly hedgehog. It was where I bought those BIG baby purchases – I remember going along to my local store and choosing my pushchair and car seat, an exciting time when you’re pregnant with your first baby. Just a few days ago I was invited to the launch of the new Mamas and Papas Liverpool Store in Speke. Even a few years down the line so many things have changed for parents and this new store is set up to reflect that.
If you live in the Merseyside area you may know that the Liverpool One Mamas and Papas store recently closed as did the one on the New Mersey Retail Park in Speke as it underwent it’s transformation. It is now a Mamas and Papas concept store, the only one outside of London, that has a strong digital focus as well as the personal touch. It is almost a one stop shop for parents to be and although it isn’t huge it is extremely well thought out.
As well as all the usual things you could expect in a Mamas and Papas store, this shop also has computer touchscreens which feature their pushchair finder and nursery furniture catalogue. One of the assistants ran me through the pushchair finder which gives you a range of options to choose from before providing you with a pushchair to meet that criteria, after which you can find it in store to try out. Maybe one of the most useful things about this store, however, is the cut out replica car in the middle of the shop – not only perfect for trying out car seats but I noticed they had a pushchair folded up in the boot. Surely the most asked question about pushchairs is if they’ll fit in the car? I would have loved this as a first time mum to be. There is also a colourful digital scale and height chart for children for when you are trying to choose the correct car seat.
As I said earlier the store isn’t massive but thats actually one of the things I like the most about it. Trying to choose the right thing for your newborn baby is hard enough without being overwhelmed by too many products. They did have a wide range of car seats and pushchairs and is was easy to see each one. Everything was laid out nicely and set up so you could get an idea of exactly how it would be used: for example, the highchairs were sat around a table. At the back of the store is a feeding room, baby change facilities and toilets, which are a nice touch.
Hidden away behind the checkouts is a lovely personal shopping area where parents to be can book an appointment and enjoy dedicated time with one of the sales assistants. The appointments are free and are designed to walk parents though the products available and answer any questions. There are four options to choose from depending on whether you need to buy the works or if you would rather focus certain things, such as nursery furniture. I can really see the benefit of this as, although everyone in store is there to help, if you book an appointment you know you have that dedicated one on one time – and it looks very cosy complete with complimentary coffee!
As I was there on launch day I was able to catch some of the special talks Mamas and Papas had put on especially for the parents. I heard Pip from Frame who gave a wonderful talk about pre- and post-natal fitness. It is something I wished I had paid more attention to with my first pregnancy and it was great to hear someone talk openly about post baby bodies. Then I listened to Nurturing Mums give some great, no pressure, baby advice that went down well with everyone listening. After that I was treated to a hand massage by Julia from Bloom and Blossom. I hadn’t heard of them before but they have recently started selling their products in Mamas and Papas. I always like to hear more about natural skincare ranges so it was lovely to chat to Julia. She founded the company with her sister in law and as parents themselves they wanted skincare for women and their babies that was natural, looked good and worked for mums as well as children. Their range looks gorgeous and feels just as good; have a look next time you’re in there!
Overall the store feels welcoming and relaxed and I think Mamas and Papas have worked really hard to anticipate the modern parents’ needs. When you find out you are pregnant it is such a special time, but shopping for a new baby can be more stressful than you realise. This new concept store has gone the extra mile to make things easier for parents to be – it’s a lovely space to be in.
Post written in collaboration with Mamas and Papas. All thoughts and words are always my own.