A NURSERY goods retailer based in Huddersfield is launching its products in South Africa.
Family-owned Mamas & Papas has joined forces with South African luxury clothing retailer The Surtees Group to open nine stores across South Africa over the next five years – creating at least 50 new jobs.
The first flagship store will open its doors in Sandton City Shopping Mall in Johannesburg on Friday, May 18.
Sandton City is the city’s premier shopping centre with more than 280 stores selling many of the world’s most in-demand brands.
The expansion of Mamas & Papas into South Africa is an important part of a world-wide growth strategy for the Colnebridge-based company, which has more than 60 stores in the UK.
Mamas & Papas, founded by husband and wife David and Luisa Scacchetti, launched in the USA in 2010 in partnership with Babies R US.
By the end of this year, Mamas & Papas will have opened at least 20 new stores internationally.
Products will then be available in over 2,000 locations across Asia, Europe, Russia, South Africa, the USA, Canada, Australia and the Gulf.
The company has more than 3,500 products, including prams, pushchairs and strollers, car seats, baby carriers, high chairs, nursery furniture, baby and maternity clothing, toys and gifts.
Mamas & Papas is known for its famous celebrity customers such as Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys.
Tim Maule, deputy chief executive of Mamas & Papas will meeting journalists and celebrities from South Africa when he attends a launch event at the opening of the new store in Johannesburg.
He said: “We are very excited to be launching into South Africa.
“We know there is a huge demand in this market place for the sort of well designed, high quality award-winning products that we offer – especially if those products can be purchased in a warm, welcoming and stylish retail environment.
“We have huge confidence in the South African economy and its growth. We hope that soon Mamas & Papas products will be in the homes of those new parents across South Africa who are passionate about quality and design. I truly believe we are the best nursery store in the world.”
Aasif Surtee, managing director of The Surtees Group said: “There is huge potential in our marketplace for a well respected global brand like Mamas & Papas.
“We believe South African consumers will react extremely positively to the products Mamas & Papas offer and their unique store environments. Therefore we are very confident in the success of this project.”
The Surtee Group started more than 20 years ago with a single store owned in downtown Johannesburg and now has 18 stores country wide.
It focuses on luxury fashion retailing and has built strong links with fashion houses such as Aigner, Hugo Boss, Dunhill, Canali, Brioni, Grosvenor, Steffano Ricci and Raffaelo Caruso.
The group plans to extend its Mamas & Papas franchise store to some of South Africa’s premier malls in Durban and Cape Town.
Mamas & Papas was launched in 1981 and remains a family business.
The award-winning company invests more than £5m a year on research and product development and employs 1,700 people around the world and at its Huddersfield headquarters.
Group turnover rose to £135.2m in 2011 from £125.9m in 2010.
Despite the economic downturn, it plans to open an additional store in the UK every 10 weeks this year – with the latest opening last month in Swindon.