News / Industry News / Trend News

Private Label Childrenswear Grows, Report Shows

Morrisons Launches Nutmeg Range

March 16, 2013

Both the UK and U.S. saw private label in childrenswear grow in value by more than any of its branded rivals during 2012, according to Euromonitor International’s recently released apparel data.

In the UK, private label, which already held a dominant share, added an extra 2 percentage points in 2012 and now accounts for a 39 percent share of the US$8.7 billion childrenswear category.

Emily Potts, contributing analyst, reports in a new Euromonitor International Analyst Insight article that the figures are all the more impressive when considering that in 2004, less than a decade ago, private label accounted for only 19 percent of childrenswear.

In the U.S., private label added more than a full percentage point to its share to reach 19 percent of the $26.8 billion childrenswear category in 2012.

Grocery retailers have been large beneficiaries of this private label category. Potts writes that grocery retailers have invested heavily in their childrenswear offering, improving not only the quality of their clothing but also upping their levels of customer service.

Potts writes that it is not difficult to see why parents have so quickly switched to buying childrenswear along with their groceries. Aside from convenience, given that children’s clothing is unlikely to fit for long, it is easy to see why parents would opt to pay less if they can.

On top of low pricing, supermarkets have instigated strong customer service initiatives, with Asda for example promising a 100-day guarantee on all of its clothing items.

The full article is available HERE. On March 21, supermarket retailer Morrisons, the smallest of the four largest four supermarkets in the UK, will launch its first childrenswear line, Nutmeg, a range for children ages 0-12. The range initially will be launched in 100 Morrisons stores, with the potential to be rolled out to 300,
and to a future online channel.

The new apparel division, Nutmeg, is headed by former Peacocks Managing Director Tim Bettley and is based in Coalville, Leicestershire. Nutmeg operates via a separate supply chain, and utilizes an outsourced distribution center provided by Clipper Logistics Group. Morrisons also recently announced Merret will become the supply chain system of choice for their existing range of essentials menswear and womenswear.

According to Potts, in the UK, childrenswear value sales are set to slow over the forecast period. The category is predicted to contract by 3 percent in value through 2017. Volume sales will, however, grow by 4 percent over the same period as price competition increases and consumers buy more for less.

In the U.S., where private label lags behind the UK, value growth is expected to fare a little better, with a 2 percent gain predicted through 2017. Predicted volume growth is higher, at 6 percent, highlighting downward price pressure for the category in the U.S., as well.

According to Euromonitor International, Wal-Mart’s private label brands collectively were the category leader in 2011 with a 21 percent retail value share, ahead of national brands Carter’s with 11 percent and Gap with 7 percent. Overall, polarization of the childrenswear market continues, with the luxury and value ends growing faster than the middle.

Top designers have diversified into the children’s apparel market, such as Diane von Furstenberg who’s second GapKids and babyGap collection will become available this April. Additionally on the luxury end there are limited-edition collections, such as Gap’s babyGap collection inspired by Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” which rolled out in January.

According to Euromonitor International, given the high turnover rate for childrenswear and the unlikelihood of items to last for a long period of time in a child’s wardrobe, the high price points of luxury childrenswear will limit the size of this market in the U.S. Major brands in childrenswear view their products more as consumer staples dependent not on fashion trends but on more basic and predictable demographic factors.

Potts writes that with the playing field between grocery retailers largely level in terms of price, supermarkets will need to become more creative in childrenswear to find a way to differentiate themselves from their rivals.

One example of this differentiation may be seen at Wegmans in the U.S., which offers an organic childrenswear line, “eat your fruits & veggies,” which includes hats, rompers, one-pieces, cardigans and pants. The 100 percent organic cotton clothes are designed using low-impact dyes, water based inks and nickel-free snaps. Organic cotton increasingly is trendy as consumers pay more attention to “green” products, sustainability and health concerns.

An additional trend for the U.S. market is the expanding of selections of plus-size children’s apparel. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about 17 percent of American children ages 2-19 are clinically obese. Rates of childhood obesity are expected to remain high over the forecast period, according to Euromonitor International, which is why it expects this trend to continue with larger apparel sizes from established children’s retailers and new specialty stores emerging to meet the needs of this growing segment.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Private Label Buyer.

Recent Articles by Jamie Grill-Goodman

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

September 2013 New Non-Food Products

This month’s new non-food products include soft chews for dogs, bottle labeling technology, skin-care products, eyebrow razors, and baby-safe laundry detergent.

Podcasts

Coming with a clear, comprehensive plan was the key to success for Longo Brothers Fruit Markets when the grocer decided to roll out a two-tier private label strategy, Jenny Longo and Robert Koss tell PLBuyer editor Chris Freeman in this podcast.

More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

Private Label Buyer Magazine

PLB April 2014 cover

April 2014

The April 2014 issue of Private Label Buyer includes articles on Omnichannel, store brand sauces, and more. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

NBB Private Label Foods

Which factors will drive further awareness—and development—of national-brand-better (NBB) private label foods?
View Results Poll Archive

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

plbuyer superstore logo

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40px twitter_40px  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40px