Thursday 25 November 2010

Does Mothercare hate cyclists?

Mothercare hates cyclists, and doesn't want our business.

It is the only conclusion I can draw after going to the Edmonton branch of Mothercare and finding absolutely no parking facilities for cycles at all. And I mean nothing - not even a handy fence, even less something that may be designed for the purpose.

I went in the store with the cycle to ask the security guard where I could lock my cycle. He helpfully pointed to the 3 feet high bollards in front of the store, which would be great except that any thief would simply lift the cycle over it in seconds. I may as well not bother at all. So I asked them to think again. At this stage I was asking for the manager and a couple of staff came up to me to offer no suggestions at all on how to solve this issue.

In fact I got the distinct impression that they just wanted me to go away.

Finally, after a good 5 or 10 minutes (when presumably they realised I wasn't going to leave), one member of staff suggested I put the bicycle behind the till, which was very sensible and the only real solution. She did mention that they used to have bicycle parking but they took it out and never replaced it.

So there we are. If one looks at the mothercare corporate website, you can find  whole sections on environmental and community policy, which includes lines such as :

We aim to offer consumers choice and help make it easy for them to choose greener options.
Helping parents is at the heart of what we do and part of every business decision we make.

Although clearly that doesn't extend to putting in a couple of sheffield stands for people getting to their store by cycle.

I would say that I am going to boycott the Mothercare stores, but frankly this will hurt me more than them, and I need to go again shortly to pick up a Christmas present. This time I think I will not be such an outcast and take my car thus being able to use their large car park. 

Because clearly the only sensible choice in transport on a 5 mile round trip to pick up a small package weighing less than 2kg is a 1.7 tonne car.

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