While splurging on expensive children’s clothing may be perceived as questionable by some – as children quickly damage and outgrow them – many parents still feel the urge to indulge. In fact, according to Euromonitor, the global childrenswear market “is outpacing both womenswear and menswear, growing 5 percent in current value terms in 2016 to $203.4 billion” (Fashionista). What’s more, today’s parents tend to have children later in life and thus have greater purchasing power.
Not all childrenswear retailers have benefitted from the industry’s uprise. In fact, there are some that have had to shut down stores and even file for bankruptcy protection. What, then, sets the successful ones apart from the rest? This article explores the reasons underlying the exponential growth in the childrenswear industry.
Adapting Quickly to Modern Technology
Today’s busy parents turn to online shopping for practical reasons. For them, every minute counts, and the most profitable retailers offer a convenient and quick shopping experience. Their site design appears both fresh and modern, and everything from page loading to product purchasing is a painless process.
Successful children’s retailers have also been quick to adapt to today’s social media-focused world by incorporating it into their marketing strategy. In fact, all retailers can accomplish this by investing in the right e-commerce platform. Running contests on social media, for example, has proven to be an effective strategy to increase an etailer’s online visibility. Sharing pictures of children styled in fashions their parents picked themselves provides the perfect opportunity to engage with other parents.
Childrenswear retailer Tea Collection runs a monthly photo contest to boost engagement and foster community. (Image credit: Tea Collection)
Understanding the Impact Young Fashion Icons Have on Sales
While not all of us scrutinize celebrities’ every move, many parents still feel inspired—perhaps without being aware of it—by the stylish outfits that the stars’ children are wearing. The children of today’s celebrities have become public figures themselves, sometimes to the chagrin of their famous parents. After all, who hasn’t caught a glimpse of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, North West, or Harper Beckham while browsing the Internet?
This has created new opportunities for retailers who can react to trends in a blink of an eye, as purchases can be influenced by the style choice of these famous children. For instance, John Lewis reported that “Prince George’s traditional outfits had helped increase sales of navy knitted [sweaters] by 69 percent” (Business of Fashion). If the childrenswear industry is thriving, it’s also because retailers have been particularly responsive to omni-channel orders by using feature-rich OMS solutions, enabling the endless aisle and effectively ensuring that they never run out of stock. Stores can’t predict what Princess Charlotte will be wearing on her first day of nursery school, but they can still meet consumer demands with an agile unified order management system.
Designing Stylish, Yet Comfortable Clothes
Successful children’s retailers have also been adept at understanding what drives parents’ purchases using the “mini-me approach.” Most parents enjoy seeing their children in mini-versions of the clothes they wear themselves (Business of Fashion). Luxury retailers are well aware of the new opportunities that have arisen in the childrenswear industry, and carry their most iconic looks in all sizes.
What’s more, their target audience has become broader and more diverse, as the masses can now afford these lower-cost versions of the outfits they wish they could afford for themselves. Perhaps, seeing their children wearing these fancy outfits makes parents feel more stylish themselves. Many moms will admit to dressing their children in perfectly styled, fashion-forward outfits, while at the same time throwing on yesterday’s yoga pants and a baseball cap for their own look. Retailers taking their childrenswear merchandising strategy to the next level are always thinking about how comfortable and practical their clothing lines should be, in addition to following fashion trends.
Expanding Activities Beyond Clothes
As savvy customers become increasingly demanding, children’s retailers who want to remain relevant need to step up their game and diversify their assortment. Souris Mini, for instance, recently opened a children’s decor store to fit busy parents’ lifestyle. After all, who really wants to spend endless hours browsing the Internet to find children’s products when they can have everything they need at their fingertips? If the childrenswear industry has been performing well, it is because it has been so quick to adapt to today’s technology-focused retail world, while also focusing on children’s well-being.
Souris Mini has recently expanded into the home furnishings area with their new home collection. Image credit: Souris Mini)