Global Children & Infants Clothing Industry
The world children’s clothing market is expected to exceed $186 billion by 2014, representing 15% market expansion since 2009, reports Datamonitor. The Americas have a regional stake of over 38% in the global market.
In the G8 countries alone, the children’s clothing market is predicted to exceed $115 billion in 2014, representing almost 2% yearly growth over a five-year period, according to MarketLine. The US leads the G8 with a 45% market share. The US children’s clothing market generates sales of more than $48 billion a year. The US market is expected to reach almost $55 billion in 2014.
The children and infant clothing industry involves the design, manufacture and retail of children’s clothes, which are made in a wide range of materials including cotton, wool, linen and may others. Clothing styles and types change from one country to the next, depending on culture and temperature. Clothing protects children from various potentially harmful threats such as the elements. Western clothing styles continue to be seen in increasing numbers of other countries outside of the West.
Children’s clothing represents the most rapidly growing sector in the clothing market, accounting for almost 11% of EU spending on clothing, reports Verdict. Rising birthrates and greater spending on clothing per child are driving demand.
The sector is becoming increasingly competitive. Retailers other than those involved strictly in children’s wear are dedicating more and more space to promotional activities for children’s wear. Department stores and grocers, for example, are according more importance to this market segment, with some establishing standalone children’s clothing stores.
Retailers are also offering their branded products at stores carrying multiple brands. One brand, Catimini, not only has close to 160 stores spread across eight different countries, but also offers its clothing at almost 1,450 stores carrying multiple brands in almost 30 different countries.
- The UK children’s clothing market is expected to see growth slow to a yearly rate of just over 1% through 2014 to reach close to $9 billion, according to research by MarketLine. Clothing, sportswear, footwear and accessories retailers generate the most sales in the market, reaching almost $7 billion combined.
- In China, the children’s clothing market is also expected to record slowing growth, with an annual growth rate of less than 6% between 2009 and 2014, reports MarketLine, bringing the market to almost $28 billion by the close of 2014. The Chinese children’s clothing market is dominated by accessories and clothing specialists, which account for three quarters of the overall market combined.
- Suppliers on the Chinese market are concentrating their efforts on research and development to bring out more comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and functional clothing for children and infants. Suppliers are using better quality materials, banking on stronger demand for exports over the year to come.
- The US children’s clothing market is witnessing a trend in plus-size apparel. The average American child’s waistline is bigger compared with sizes of former generations, giving rise to demand for plus-size clothing. Retailers such as The Gap and Sears are accommodating this demand, offering clothing for the larger child. Many big brands will likely follow suit and offer their clothing products in larger sizes.
- Vietnam’s children’s clothing industry provides many markets with toys and clothing for children and infants at moderate prices. Foreign companies also source raw materials from Vietnam, where garments and wooden products are available at competitive prices.
Children's Clothing Industry Trends
The global children’s clothing market will recover quickly from the economic recession. As children are constantly growing, their need for clothing replacement is higher than any other demographic. The industry is accommodating changes in the population, with retailers and manufacturers expanding their product lines to meet demand for larger-sized clothing.
Companies will also continue to market their goods more directly to children, nurturing links with other industries such as entertainment, as children respond to advertising for Disney clothing.
The baby-boomer generation continues to spend on clothing for their grandchildren, with luxury lines also proving popular. However, as parents strapped for cash struggle to keep up with growing children’s needs for new clothes, the demand for lower-priced goods has department stores clearing space previously taken up by brand-name clothing to make room for cheaper private-label goods.
Leading Industry Associations
- American Apparel and Footwear Association
- National Children’s Wear Association
- Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry
- European Association of Fashion Retailers
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