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Retail Focus - Natural Baby

Rachel Blomfield, Co-General Manager of Archie Browns in Truro, shares her experience of the baby health and skincare sector

When it comes to buying natural baby and child products, there are two groups of customers: those who have always used natural products and want to use the same on their babies; and those who haven’t been very ‘natural’ in the past but don’t want to use chemicals on the skin of someone so tiny and precious! Some come in looking for products that they have read about or that friends have recommended, and others are looking for advice and direction, which we are always happy to give.

The personal touch

Becoming a parent is a time when you want to use more natural products. Luckily we have a few new mums on our team, and I have a 22-month-old myself, so we can give lots of tips and advice to our customers. I think people want to hear recommendations about things that we’ve used and that we know work; it’s much nicer than just giving a sales pitch for a product that you haven’t actually tried. Our biggest seller is Weleda Calendula nappy cream. It’s one of those word-of-mouth products that everyone loves, and everyone tells their friends about. I still use it on my toddler, and all the mums that work here do, too. Earth Friendly Baby bubble baths and shampoos are good sellers too. Another product I use and always recommend to customers is Water Wipes. I started using them because my baby likes to suck wipes, and I didn’t want her ingesting anything too toxic! We also do some Burt’s Bees products, which are gorgeous, and a range called MooGoo; people kept asking us if we stocked it, so eventually we did. It’s a great range for people with skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis, and they do baby products too. At the moment we’re selling quite a lot of sun protection – the Green People range is really popular, and we also sell a lot of the MooGoo and Lavera ranges.

Expecting a baby

A lot of women start out looking for more natural products when they’re pregnant. Obviously you can’t take many medicines, and women tend to want to use more natural products on their skin, and to take natural supplements. Most of our big supplement brands do a pregnancy blend; I used the BioCare Pregnancy & Lactation Formula, but we also sell a lot of Viridian Pregnancy Omega Oil, Higher Nature Mum- 2-Be and Solgar Prenatal Nutrients. Many women find a supplement that suits them, and then stick to that brand when they come back to buy supplements for their babies and children. All these companies do baby and children’s supplements too, and we also sell Quest Bright Start, which is very popular.

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