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Baby Durables - US - April 2015

“There are many opportunities for retailers serving the baby durables market to improve customer service. In a category like this where strong emotions can come into play, a human touch can go a long way. Retailers can stand out above the rest and earn customer trust and loyalty by providing personalized services such as product or gift registry consultations or rewards incentives that consider family dynamics.”
– Diana Smith, Senior Research Analyst – Retail & Apparel

This report answers the following questions:

  • How can baby durables retailers up their service game?
  • How can baby durables retailers expand their reach to nontraditional families?
  • Are online and other alternative channels impacting the baby durables market?

High levels of consumer confidence as well as relatively stabilizing birthrates and population growth trends among women, particularly Hispanic women, will support sales. While the majority of baby durables are purchased new in-store, online and alternative channels are increasingly being used to shop for these items.

F
emale population rates are up, birthrates are stabilizing, consumer confidence is growing and spending is on the rise – all encouraging signs that should benefit the baby durables market looking ahead. There are also many different family dynamics today that will have an impact on the market – women are having children later in life, there are more single parents, and more same-sex couples raising children. Retailers need to recognize – and cater to – the different needs and key drivers of these nontraditional families.

Further, most items in the category are purchased new. Retailers selling baby furniture have an opportunity to increase share of new purchases as furniture lags behind the other categories slightly in terms of being acquired new versus old. A strengthening economy should encourage continued purchasing of new items and/or encourage those who rely on other methods to buy new instead. However, a sizable portion – more than 25% – of baby durables are being acquired in ways other than purchased new, with second-hand retailers being the most popular alternative. More parents are also becoming increasingly interested in consignment shops, resale sites, and mom-to-mom sales. These other channels represent a threat to traditional baby durables retailers. As such, retailers should be considering ways to compete, such as offering their own resale or trade-in services and/or considering partnerships with local mom clubs or resale shops that could bring benefits to all parties.


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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Direct marketing creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                        • The market
                          • Figure 1: US retail sales and fan chart forecast for baby durables, at current prices, 2009-19
                        • Market Drivers
                          • Birthrates have steadily declined but are beginning to stabilize
                            • Figure 2: Annual births and fertility rate, 2003-13
                          • Female population will continue growing
                            • Figure 3: Women by race and Hispanic origin, 2009-19
                            • Figure 4: Population younger than age 5, by race and Hispanic origin, 2015-20
                          • Rate of older moms and single parents is high
                            • Figure 5: Percentage of births, by age of mother, 2013
                            • Figure 6: Percent of births to unmarried mothers, by race and Hispanic origin of mother, 2013
                          • The consumer
                            • Baby durables category is large and complex
                              • Figure 7: Baby-related items ownership – any, by category, January 2015
                            • Most items are purchased new
                              • Figure 8: Method of acquiring baby-related items, by category, January 2015
                            • Friends and family are key influencers
                              • Figure 9: Attitudes toward shopping for baby durables, key influencers relied on for information/advice regarding where to buy, by generations, January 2015
                            • Mass merchandisers and baby superstores preferred by parents
                              • Figure 10: Retailers shopped for baby-related items, January 2015
                            • Online and alternative channels are growing in popularity
                              • Figure 11: Online/alternative channels where baby-related products are purchased, January 2015
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                                • How can baby durables retailers up their service game?
                                  • The issues
                                    • The implications
                                      • How can baby durables retailers expand their reach to nontraditional families?
                                        • The issues
                                          • The implications
                                            • Are online and other alternative channels impacting the baby durables market?
                                              • The issues
                                                • The implications
                                                • Trend Applications

                                                    • Trend: Guiding Choice
                                                      • Trend: Access All Areas
                                                        • Trend: Experience Is All
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Sales of baby durables looking up
                                                              • Figure 12: US retail sales and forecast for baby durables, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Figure 13: US retail sales and forecast for baby durables, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                            • Furniture and car seats comprise nearly 40% of sales
                                                                • Figure 14: Total US retail sales of baby durables, by segment, 2012
                                                              • Fan chart forecast
                                                                  • Figure 15: US retail sales and fan chart forecast for baby durables, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Despite continual declines, birthrates show signs of stabilization
                                                                    • Figure 16: Annual births and fertility rate, 2003-13
                                                                    • Figure 17: Annual births and fertility rates, by race and Hispanic origin of mother, 2003-13
                                                                    • Figure 18: Population younger than age 5, by race and Hispanic origin, 2010-20
                                                                  • Female population slated to grow
                                                                    • Figure 19: Women by race and Hispanic origin, 2009-19
                                                                  • Changing demographics among parents impact the market
                                                                    • Figure 20: Percentage of births, by age of mother, 2013
                                                                    • Figure 21: births, by age of mother, live-birth order, 2013
                                                                    • Figure 22: Percent of births to unmarried mothers, by race and Hispanic origin of mother, 2013
                                                                  • Grandparents’ purchasing power makes them a viable target
                                                                    • Nontraditional families have high purchasing power and are growing
                                                                      • Figure 23: Household income among same-sex and different-sex couples raising children under age 18, by marital status, March 2015
                                                                    • Online and mobile shopping provides convenience for busy parents
                                                                    • Retailer Overview

                                                                        • Baby superstores
                                                                          • Quick facts
                                                                            • Babies R Us company overview
                                                                              • Key initiatives
                                                                                • Relevant services for parents
                                                                                    • Figure 24: Babies “R” Us, Email, March 2014
                                                                                  • Recent news and innovations
                                                                                    • Buy Buy Baby company overview
                                                                                      • Key initiatives
                                                                                        • Relevant services for parents
                                                                                            • Figure 25: Buy Buy Baby, Direct Mail, March 2014
                                                                                          • Infant/child specialty stores
                                                                                            • Quick facts
                                                                                              • Pottery Barn Kids company overview
                                                                                                • Key initiatives
                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Pottery Barn Kids, Instagram landing page, February 2015
                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Pottery Barn Kids, Email, March 2015
                                                                                                  • Online only retailers
                                                                                                    • Amazon quick facts
                                                                                                      • Company overview
                                                                                                        • Relevant services for parents
                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Amazon.com, Landing page, February 2015
                                                                                                        • Diapers.com quick facts
                                                                                                          • Company overview
                                                                                                            • Relevant services for parents
                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Diapers.com, Email, April 2014
                                                                                                              • Other retailers
                                                                                                                • Mass merchandisers
                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Walmart, Landing page, February 2015
                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Target, Landing page, March 2015
                                                                                                              • Baby Durables Items Ownership

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Baby durables ownership is high
                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Baby-related items ownership – any, by category, January 2015
                                                                                                                  • Transport items
                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Baby-related transport items ownership, January 2015
                                                                                                                  • Furniture
                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Baby-related furniture ownership, January 2015
                                                                                                                  • Daytime care and/or safety/wellness items
                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Baby-related daytime care and/or safety/wellness items ownership, January 2015
                                                                                                                  • Activity-related items
                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Baby-related activity items ownership, January 2015
                                                                                                                  • Qualitative insight: What attributes are most important to parents?
                                                                                                                  • Method of Acquiring Baby-related Items

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Preference is to buy new, but can this be increased even more?
                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Method of acquiring baby-related items, by category, January 2015
                                                                                                                        • Qualitative insight: How do parents acquire their baby durables? Which items do they want the most control over?
                                                                                                                          • Qualitative insight: What are the reasons for using or not using a gift registry?
                                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward Shopping for Baby Durables

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Friends and family are key influencers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Attitudes toward shopping for baby durables, key influencers relied on for information/advice regarding where to buy, January 2015
                                                                                                                              • Qualitative insight: Who or what is most influential to parents shopping for baby durables?
                                                                                                                                • Online researching is a big part of the purchase journey
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Attitudes toward shopping for baby durables, research process, January 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Price is a key purchase driver, but so is getting the “right” product(s)
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Attitudes toward shopping for baby durables, purchase drivers by household income, January 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Qualitative insight: How do consumers research and shop for baby durables? What drives purchase?
                                                                                                                                    • Qualitative insight: How does the process vary for the first child versus subsequent children?
                                                                                                                                      • Qualitative insight: What advice do experienced parents have for first-time parents?
                                                                                                                                      • Retailers Shopped for Baby-related Items

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Mass merchandisers and baby superstores primary destinations for parents
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Retailers shopped for baby-related items, January 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Second-hand retailers appeal to at least 20% of consumers regardless of household income
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Retailers shopped for baby-related items, in-store or online, by household income, January 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Primary retailers shopped remain consistent regardless of category
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Retailers shopped for baby-related items, by category, January 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Qualitative insight: How do consumers choose where to shop for baby durables?
                                                                                                                                          • Online/Alternative Channels Shopped for Baby-related Items

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Online and alternative channels are growing in popularity
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Online/alternative channels where baby-related products are purchased, January 2015
                                                                                                                                              • Qualitative insight: How do consumers feel about buying baby durables items from nontraditional channels?
                                                                                                                                                • Qualitative insight: What are consumers’ thoughts about buying baby durables items online?
                                                                                                                                                • Desired Advancements or Improvements to Baby Durables Shopping

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Half of women rely on incentives earned through loyalty programs
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Advancements or improvements that would improve baby durables shopping process, by gender, January 2015
                                                                                                                                                    • Qualitative insight: What do consumers want from baby durables retailers?
                                                                                                                                                    • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Majority of items are purchased new
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Method of acquiring baby-related items, by category – bought new versus second-hand, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2015
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics do their homework before buying
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Attitudes toward shopping for baby durables, research process by Hispanic origin, January 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Attitudes toward shopping for baby durables, key influencers relied on for information/advice regarding where to buy, by Hispanic Origin, January 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Attitudes toward shopping for baby durables, purchase drivers by Hispanic origin, January 2015
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics and Blacks frequent several places when shopping for baby durables
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Retailers shopped for baby-related items – any baby-related product ownership, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2015
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                        Baby Durables - US - April 2015

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