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.
Female 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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