This is the official blog of the Landmark Group with insights
and stories from the people behind our many brands.

The Big 200 - Babyshop's Landmark Achievement

Babyshop opened doors of its 200th store in the MENA region this May. Located in Irbid, Jordon within the City Centre, this 11,000 sq. ft. store retails in-house brands like Juniors, Giggles, and other popular international brands like Barbie, Disney, Philips Avent, Fisher-Price, Graco, Ferrari, Quinny and several others.

babyshop-first-store.jpgGoing back to Landmark Group's modest beginnings in Bahrain, Babyshop stands as a foundation stone on which the entire Landmark Group was envisioned and built. This landmark achievement coincides with the group's 40th year in existence and honour of being the region's largest retail conglomerate. Vinod Talreja, CEO, Babyshop, talks about the success of the concept since its inception in 1973, "The opening of our 200th store is another major milestone as we complete 40 years of being a leading retailer of choice for all children's requirements under one roof." This one stop shop encompasses everything from fashion clothing, baby basics, toys and nursery furniture for newborns, toddlers and children up to 16 years of age. Today, Babyshop operates in 15 countries and covers over 2.5 million sq. ft. of retail space.

Over the years, Babyshop has built a loyal customer-base with its product portfolio that offers great value for money and assures quality. Vinod Talreja, acknowledges this strength, "We take this opportunity to thank our loyal customers, Babyshop has received exceptional acceptance and popularity across all markets in the MENA region where we have our presence, and we reiterate our commitment towards providing superior quality at affordable prices to our loyal customers."

babyshop-store.jpgThis commitment to its customers and the region is pursed further by Babyshop's active social responsibility mandate, which involves participating in initiatives that promote child safety awareness.  Since 2005, Babyshop has been continually engaged in a series of community engagement activities intended to raise awareness on safety amongst students, parents and schools. Till date, the success of this community engagement initiative has reached out to more than 7,000 children from 150 schools across the Gulf region, including schools in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

As Landmark Group continues to capture greater market share in the Middle East, Babyshop's 200th store milestone showcases the growing presence in its category in the MENA region. An achievement the Landmark group celebrates with pride.

Bringing up Babyshop

As a relatively new member of the Landmark Web Team, I am proud to share our latest effort, the website for Babyshop, which specialises in fashion clothing, baby basics, toys and nursery furniture for newborn babies, toddlers and children up to 16.

It was our aim to ensure the new site had user-friendly navigation, clean design and clear labelling to showcase the diverse range of products. We also had to make sure that certain elements - the store locator, information about brands, offers and more - were consistent with other Landmark sites so users understand they're within Landmark Group.

As is the case with revising all our sites, this journey started with an immersion session in which our design partners were introduced to the brand. The two-person team visited Dubai and spent time with Rahul Saxena (Head of Marketing) and Sai Talwalkar (Marketing Coordinator), who told them all they needed to know about Babyshop.

Following this session, we developed the site framework, also known as its architecture, which involved organising and labelling product sections so we could better understand and define the site's content. Once approved, the structural elements were interpreted into a design; we based the colours, which you will notice throughout the site, around the current logo - a subtle but necessary requirement. 

Babyshop_Web.jpg

Our main challenge was making products look great within the layout. We had to consider horizontally and vertically oriented images so we needed another photo shoot and used all our photo-editing skills to make sure the images looked right. I can speak for us all when I say this was an invaluable learning experience for everyone involved.

I cannot express enough how important it is to create great assets. It's a critical part of the process because we're determined to make the concepts' sites as visually stimulating as possible. To do this, we require assets that translate well online; if necessary, we'll create assets that meet our requirements. Although this can be challenging, we're determined to make the user experience memorable.

Working on all websites is a challenge, but I can honestly say that everything we develop in the Web Team is evolving. There are lots of ground-breaking enhancements already in the pipeline so watch these spaces... www.babyshopstores.com, www.juniors-stores.com and www.mothercarestores.com.

Every child has the right to have fun

Funday_1.jpg

Having fun is every child's right. At Fun City, we've teamed up with Volunteer in Dubai - along with the support of the Senses Centre - to launch an initiative that aspires to brighten the day of children with special needs.

The "Fun Day Sunday" initiative, held on the first Sunday of every month at Fun City in the Oasis Centre, the Arabian Centre and Lamcy Plaza in Dubai and Marina Mall and Dalma Mall in Abu Dhabi, invites children with special needs to spend the whole day letting loose and enjoying themselves. Our hearts warm to see the kids having fun with a host of activities including soft play, a drop tower and interactive games, plus puppet shows, singing, dancing and art contests to make sure there's never a dull moment. Even our staff has a ball playing with the children and serving them refreshments and gifts.

Volunteer in Dubai was founded in 2008 with the purpose of bringing together any charity, organization or cause with residents that are eager to volunteer their time and give back to the community. Charities and non-profit organizations rely on volunteers to keep overheads at a minimum, thus ensuring that every penny possible goes to those who need it most.

Funday_Sunday.jpg

As a business entity, the Landmark Group is firmly committed to the wellbeing of our community, society and environment, and we strive to play an active role in making positive changes around us. Through the Fun Day Sunday initiative, we've had the honour of doing our small bit in bringing about something money can't buy: the smile of a child.

May every day be a fun day!

Do you have ideas on how to brighten up a child's day? Share them with us here...

Keeping Baby Safe: Essential Accessories

A child's safety always starts with good parenting - but it doesn't hurt to have a little help along the way. Here is a list of 11 safety accessories we consider important at Babyshop to put an extra level of security into your child's daily life.

11 Essential Child-Safety Accessories

  1. 1st Grooming Kit. This all-in-one kit takes care of your child's grooming and wellness, and is ideal when you're travelling.

  2. Multi-purpose Latch. Here's a deterrent to keep inquisitive kids out of harm's way. The Multi-purpose Latch is perfect for fridges, microwaves and dishwashers.

  3. Knee Protector. Knee protectors help protect your toddler's knees while crawling.

    11 Essential Child-Safety Accessories.jpg
  4. Corner Edge Cushions. These are ideal for sharp corners of table and shelves, which toddlers often bump into.

  5. Child Harness. These "baby reins" are a comfortable way to keep your child close to you when traveling in crowded areas or busy streets.

  6. Finger Pinch Guard. It prevents small fingers and hands from being pinched or crushed in doors and door hinges


    Child harness_first pinch Guard_Corner Edge Cushions.jpg
  7. Expansion Swing Gate. This handy gate prevents toddlers from accessing stairs. The plastic safety rail eliminates openings on top, and a one-hand release latch makes it convenient for adults to operate.

  8. Secure Sleep Bed Rail. Kids are notorious for rolling off beds in their sleep. This safety rail makes sure they sleep peacefully without going 'bump' in the night

  9. Fridge Lock. This gadget helps prevent children from opening refrigerators, and has a unique childproof press-lock that's designed for repeated use.

    fridge Lock_expansion gate, side rail bed.jpg
  10. Push 'n Snap Cabinet Lock. Use this to prevent kids from accessing cabinets that are within their reach. A SecurTech locking system and push-button release ensures freedom from mishaps.

  11. Spring 'N Release Latches. These locks seal off cabinets and drawers from the prying hands of curious children. They come with a spring-loaded feature that makes them more durable and long-lasting.

    cabinetlock_springreleaselatches.jpg
Pick up our handy ABC ("Always Be Careful") booklet at any Babyshop outlet or download it here as a useful reminder of how to make your child's life a little bit safer.

Are there other safety accessories you consider essential for your child? Share them with us here!

Child Safety First: In the Car

As part of our Child Safety First campaign in cooperation with the Road Transport Authority of Dubai, Babyshop brings you this series of ABCs on how to help keep baby out of harm's way.

Most modern vehicles are designed with child safety in mind. However, proper child safety in automobiles requires a little more than simply buckling up. You can increase your child's safety in the car significantly by following these easy tips and procedures.

Picking a child seat correctly
Choosing the right child seat can make all the difference to your child's safety in the car. Remember that kids under 9 must ride in a child safety seat or booster seat, and that children under 13 belong in the rear seat and should be securely buckled in. Child seats come in 4 main types:

Infant-Car-Seat.jpg
1. Infant seat. Rear-facing only; age: birth to 13 kgs. Backward-facing seats provide more protection for your baby's head, neck and spine compared to forward-facing seats. We recommend positioning these seats at the rear of the car.

Toddler-Car-Seat.jpg
2. Toddler seat. Forward-facing only; age: 1-4 yrs (9-18 kgs). These are also best placed on the rear seat of the car. Move your infant to a toddler seat only once their weight is more than the maximum weight for the infant seat or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat.

Booster.jpg
3. High back booster. Forward-facing only, with or without vehicle belt; age: 4-8 yrs (10-36 kgs). High back booster seats are better for children who are between 96 and 150 cms tall. Some booster seats are designed to be converted into a booster cushion by detaching the back rest.

Convertible-Car-Seat.jpg
4. Booster seat. Forward-facing with vehicle belt; age: 4-12 yrs (15-36 kgs). When using these seats, make sure the seat belt is correctly adjusted and worn as tight as comfortably possible. The lap belt should be over the pelvic region and not over the stomach, the diagonal strap should rest over the shoulder, not the neck, and your child should be able to see the window of the car.

Fitting child car seats
  • It is always safer to fit infant seats in the rear of the car
  • A forward-facing child seat in the front of the car should be fitted as far back into the car seat and as far away from the dashboard as possible
  • Don't place the child seat in the front if there is a passenger airbag
  • Make sure the seatbelt passes through all the correct guides on the child seat
  • If the child seat remains in the car permanently, make sure it is checked regularly and that it is securely held in place
  • Push your weight into the child seat and pull the shoulder belt to make sure the seat is securely held. There should be no slack in the seat belt.
  • Check for any forward or sideways sway once you've secured the child seat in the car
  • Check that the seatbelt buckle is not resting on the child seat frame (this is known as 'buckle crunch')

Safety checks in the car
  • A child's body temperature increases much faster than an adult's. To reduce the risk of heat injury, don't leave your child alone in the car, not even for a short errand, and not even with the windows down.
  • School-aged children shouldn't be allowed to play in or around a parked car
  • To reduce the risk of a child becoming trapped inside the trunk of a car, always keep the trunk closed and the rear seats up
  • Teach children how to use a trunk release mechanism if your car has this feature

Pick up our handy ABC ("Always Be Careful") booklet at any Babyshop outlet or download it here as a useful reminder of how to make your child's life a little bit safer.

Are there other safety measures you use in the car for your child? Share them with us here!

Child Safety First: On the Road

As part of our Child Safety First campaign in cooperation with the Road Transport Authority of Dubai, Babyshop brings you this series of ABCs on how to help keep baby out of harm's way.

The road can be a tricky place for kids - and a source of genuine concern for parents. Thankfully, there are a host of things that can help make life safer for your child when you're out and about. We've compiled the best ones here.

Key safety checks on the road
crossing_road.png•Always slow down in advance at a traffic signal
•Check your speed regularly
•Always use a hands-free device if you must use a mobile phone while driving
•Use the child safety lock in cars when travelling with children
•Make sure that child seats are fitted correctly and used on every journey
•Children under the age of 11 shouldn't cycle in traffic
•Children should always wear helmets when riding bicycles
•Kids under 9 shouldn't cross roads on their own
 
 
When walking near a road, it's a good idea to:
  • Hold your child's hand - don't let them run ahead
  • Look out for and encourage your child to be aware of hidden entrances or driveways crossing the pavement. It can be hard for motorist to see small children especially when they are reversing, so take extra care.
  • Put reins on a younger child if they're not strapped in a stroller
  • Make sure your child walks on the side of the pavement away from traffic

Crossing the road
When the time comes to teach your child about crossing the road, remember:
  • Always set a good example by choosing a safe place to cross and explaining what you're doing
  • Let your child help you decide where and when it's safe to cross
  • Tell your child that it's safest to cross at a pedestrian crossing or a crossing patrol
  • Tell your child not to cross where they can't see far along the road
  • Explain that they should not try to cross a road between parked cars; drivers won't be able to see them very well and the cars might start moving
  • Use the Green Cross Code with your child: explain that you have to stop at the kerb, then look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing
  • When it's safe to cross, walk straight across the road and keep looking and listening out for traffic
  • Remind your child to concentrate - they may be easily distracted, forget what they've been taught and dash out into the road
  • Make sure that anyone else looking after your child follows the same road safety rules that you do

Pick up our handy ABC ("Always Be Careful") booklet at any Babyshop outlet or download it here as a useful reminder of how to make your child's life a little bit safer.

Are there other safety measures you use on the road with your child? Share them with us here!

Child Safety First: Around the House

As part of our Child Safety First campaign in cooperation with the Road Transport Authority of Dubai (RTA), Babyshop brings you this series of ABCs on how to help keep baby out of harm's way.

Babyshop_RTA_Campaign.JPG
Life changes when there's a kid in the house. Everyday objects that are second nature for adults can be potential hazards for your child, and actions we might consider as common sense need to be reinforced explicitly to help keep your young one safe. 

At Babyshop, we understand the importance of safety from both the unassuming child's and the concerned parent's point of view. Here are some smart tips to help make your home a safe haven for your little one.


1. Get rid of the danger
  • Throw away leftover chemicals, expired medications, etc. to reduce the possibility of an accident.

2. Change the hazard so it's not dangerous
  • Lots of children get hurt falling from bunk beds. Put the top-level bed down on the floor so you have two safe, low beds instead.
  • Designate your child's play area a long way from the driveway or road.

3. Block access to the danger
  • Keep medicines and cleaning chemicals out of reach of children.
  • Always take the keys out of the car.

4. Change your child's habits to lower risk
  • Make sure your child wears a helmet when riding a bicycle, or wrist and knee protectors when skating.
  • Have your child wear sun-protecting clothing and sunscreen when outdoors.

5. Set examples by following rules yourself
  • Children learn from what you do. If you're careful at home, they will be, too.

6. If they're doing something you think is dangerous, stop it
  • Pick the child up instantly
  • If you're far away from them, should something simple, very loudly, like "STOP!" Don't use more words - that'll just confuse your child, and you need them to concentrate on stopping.

Key Safety Checks at Home

Pick up our handy ABC ("Always Be Careful") booklet at any Babyshop outlet or download it here as a useful reminder of how to make your child's life a little bit safer.

Are there other safety measures you use around the house for your child? Share them with us here...