Maternity clothing retailer Mothers Work Inc is exploring product licensing options in an effort to retain its customers after pregnancy.

The Philadelphia-company, which operates more than 1000 stores under the Motherhood Maternity, Mimi Maternity and A Pea In The Pod banners, is exploring opportunities to license the Motherhood name for products for babies and new mothers.

According to president Rebecca Matthias, however, the company will not offer the licensed products in its own stores.

"Once you put baby clothes in it, you just ruin the ambience," she said.

In June this year, Mothers Work announced it had hired the Joester Loria Group to develop licensing projects for the company.

The world's largest maternity wear company is now deciding whether to license its baby and new mother brands for distribution in multiple stores or through one large retailer, with a decision expected at the end of the fiscal year.