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Baby Durables - US - March 2009

This report explores the baby durables market—covering the broad scope of products that parents and parents-to-be acquire through purchases, baby showers and gifts from family and friends. The market is highly dependent on the number of births in a given year and the overall population of children under three in the U.S. Historically, the number of births changes very little from year to year, leaving little room for growth beyond inflation. Fluctuations in market sales are most influenced by product innovation and consumer trends.

You will find thoughtful discussion on these as well as topics that include:


  • Discussion of opportunities to maximize market potential via building trust with proactive safety standards, bringing customization mainstream, and personalizing the baby registry process
  • Insight into the “alpha mom” and her influence in the market
  • Evaluation of the shadow market and its threat to primary baby durable sales, especially during an era of economic instability
  • Assessing trends in population of children under three and how the recession and unemployment rates will impact future birth rates
  • Evaluation of how the age of mom and her employment affects what baby durables she purchases, as well as the impact of childcare and parenting styles on the quantity and type of products purchased
  • Discussion of innovations by value, efficiency and marketing claims
  • An in-depth look into how European innovators are wielding their influence in the U.S. market because of their customization, functional and high-style approach to baby durables
  • How advertising and promotion in the baby durables market is Internet-heavy with informational websites, online magazines, blogs and chat rooms to aide parents in research

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

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

                • Market produces modest gains despite economy
                  • Competition grows as economy worsens
                    • Market drivers predominately offer negative outlook for market
                      • Baby furniture leads sales and growth among segments
                        • Mass merchandisers account for 53% of baby durable sales
                          • Baby durable manufacturer profiles
                            • Innovation driven by value, technology and lifestyle position
                              • Incidence of ownership and how baby durable products are acquired
                                • Influences of purchase
                                  • Purchasing habits related to safety issues
                                  • Insights and Opportunities

                                    • Safety builds parental trust
                                      • Customization gives parents exactly what they need
                                        • Getting personal to maximize baby registries
                                          • A is for “Alpha Mom”
                                          • Inspire Insights

                                              • Rules of Thumb
                                                • What's it about?
                                                  • What we've seen
                                                    • Specifics
                                                      • Implications
                                                        • Specifics (part 2)
                                                          • Implications (part 2)
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Parents still spend money on their babies despite poor economy
                                                                • Recession will impact the number of births and where consumers shop
                                                                  • Figure 1: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of baby durables, at current prices, 2003-13
                                                                  • Figure 2: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of baby durables, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                              • Competitive Context

                                                                • The shadow market
                                                                  • Children’s resale
                                                                    • Thrift stores/Not for Profit
                                                                      • Internet resellers
                                                                        • Advantages for baby durables marketers
                                                                        • Segment Performance—Overview

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Figure 3: Total U.S. retail sales of baby durables, by segments, 2006 and 2008
                                                                        • Segment Performance—Baby Furniture

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Crib sales—a basic need
                                                                              • Quality furniture for baby and beyond
                                                                                • Figure 4: U.S. retail sales and forecast of baby furniture, at current prices, 2003-13
                                                                                • Figure 5: U.S. retail sales and forecast of baby furniture, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                            • Segment Performance—Daytime Care Products

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • The non-essential baby items
                                                                                  • Blurring product lines
                                                                                      • Figure 6: U.S. retail sales and forecast of daytime care products, at current prices, 2003-13
                                                                                      • Figure 7: U.S. retail sales and forecast of daytime care products, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                                  • Segment Performance—Baby Mobility

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Innovative car seats give parents the option to own just one
                                                                                        • Strollers cater to parents’ needs and lifestyle choices
                                                                                            • Figure 8: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of baby mobility products, 2003-13
                                                                                            • Figure 9: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of baby mobility products, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                                        • Segment Performance—Safety/Health and Wellness

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Tangible value
                                                                                              • Going high-tech
                                                                                                  • Figure 10: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of safety/health and wellness products, at current prices, 2003-13
                                                                                                  • Figure 11: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of safety/health and wellness products, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                                              • Retail Channels

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Mass merchandisers capture the nexus between price, selection and convenience
                                                                                                    • Wal-Mart: Gains through store growth
                                                                                                      • Target: Building sales through exclusive brands
                                                                                                        • Kmart: Struggling sales
                                                                                                          • Baby specialists—the industry authority
                                                                                                            • Babies R Us: The quintessential stop for expecting parents
                                                                                                              • One Step Ahead: Establishing parental trust while leveraging convenience
                                                                                                                • Lifestyle specialty stores and full-line furniture stores stimulating growth
                                                                                                                  • Pottery Barn Kids: Target affluent consumers
                                                                                                                    • Ikea: Offering value with style
                                                                                                                      • Ashley Furniture Home Stores: Quality that can transition
                                                                                                                        • Retail channel sales
                                                                                                                          • Figure 12: Retail sales of top nine baby durables retailers, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                          • Figure 13: Retail sales of top 20 baby durables retailers, by channel, 2006 and 2007
                                                                                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                                                                                        • Outlook for baby durables weakens as population of children under 3 is expected to slow
                                                                                                                          • Figure 14: U.S. population estimates and projections of children aged 3 and under, 2003-13
                                                                                                                        • It comes down to money
                                                                                                                          • Recession, unemployment impact birth rates—now and future
                                                                                                                            • Figure 15: Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, 16 years and older, by month, 2000-09
                                                                                                                          • Household income
                                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Household income distribution, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2007
                                                                                                                          • Race and ethnic origin—influencing factors on fertility rates and number of births
                                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Fertility and number of births, by race of mother, 2004 and 2006
                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: U.S. population estimates and projections of children aged 3 and under, by race and Hispanic origin, 2003-13
                                                                                                                          • Age of mom and her employment
                                                                                                                            • Older moms is a positive market driver
                                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Fertility and number of births, by age of mother, 2004 and 2006
                                                                                                                            • More women in labor force than ever before
                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Women’s labor force participation, 1975-2006
                                                                                                                            • Grandparent caretakers represent secondary consumer
                                                                                                                            • Leading Companies and Brands

                                                                                                                                • Dorel
                                                                                                                                  • Newell Rubbermaid: Graco
                                                                                                                                    • Evenflo
                                                                                                                                      • Mattel: Fisher-Price BabyGear
                                                                                                                                        • RC2: Learning Curve brands
                                                                                                                                          • Kolcraft
                                                                                                                                            • Stork Craft
                                                                                                                                            • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                                                • Getting the most bang for your buck
                                                                                                                                                  • Transitional products
                                                                                                                                                    • Multifunctional products
                                                                                                                                                      • Innovating with parents in mind
                                                                                                                                                        • Ease of use
                                                                                                                                                          • Solutions
                                                                                                                                                            • Lifestyle statements
                                                                                                                                                              • Innovators: The European influence and high-end baby gear
                                                                                                                                                                • Customization
                                                                                                                                                                  • Functionality
                                                                                                                                                                    • High style
                                                                                                                                                                    • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                      • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                        • Internet is primary resource for new parents
                                                                                                                                                                          • Informational websites: go-to resources for product information and community support
                                                                                                                                                                            • Online magazines: product evaluations and top picks help parents
                                                                                                                                                                              • Blogs and chat rooms continue to gain influence
                                                                                                                                                                                • Magazines are an important research tool—features and awards for top products
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Select parenting publications, by type, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Promotion focus: Sweepstakes, contests and events
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Usage—Baby Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Moms acquire new cribs and mattresses; all other furniture pieces are negotiable
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: How mothers acquire baby room furniture, by product type, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Incidence of furniture gift giving among women, by product type, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Usage—Baby Mobility

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • New car seats and strollers are essential baby gear—borrowing/second-hand won’t do
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: How mothers acquire baby mobility durables, by product type, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Incidence of baby mobility gift giving among women, by product type, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Usage—Daytime Care

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Moms are open to “used” daytime care items; yet many are received as gifts
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: How mothers acquire daytime care durables, by product type, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Incidence of daytime care product giving among women, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Usage of safety/wellness products depends on parenting and lifestyle factors
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: How mothers acquire baby safety/health and wellness durables, by product type, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Incidence of baby safety/health and wellness durables giving among women, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Place of Purchase

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Almost nine in ten parents shop mass merchandisers for baby durables
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Stores where baby products are acquired, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brands Purchased

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key point
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fragmentation of brands is high; traditional brands have strong penetration
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Brands of baby products acquired, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Family and friends influence purchase decisions
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Research conducted and other statements about acquiring baby products, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: What influences the purchase, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Changing Purchasing Habits due to Safety Issues

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Parents say safety isn’t more of an issue now—they’ve always been safety-conscious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Changing purchasing habits due to safety issues, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Moms in Online Communities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • MySpace and Facebook membership popular among moms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: What influences the purchase, by age of mother, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Researchers and Readers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Mainstream Moms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bargain Buyers and Borrowers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Baby durable clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Agree/disagree with purchase statements about baby products, by baby durable clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Agree/disagree with safety statements about baby products, by baby durable clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Average number of items bought new, by baby durable clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Average number of items bought second-hand, by baby durable clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Average number of items borrowed, by baby durable clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Average number of items received as gifts, by baby durable clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Baby durable clusters, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Baby durable clusters, by presence of children younger than 5, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Baby durable clusters, by income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • AB Volvo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Aprica America Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Babies R Us
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Baby's Dream Furniture Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • BABYBJÖRN AB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • BabyCenter, L.L.C.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bebe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bed Bath & Beyond Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Berkshire Hathaway Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Big Lots, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Blockbuster USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bloomingdale's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Boppy Company, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Britax Excelsior
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Burdines
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Chicco UK (Artsana)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Costco Wholesale Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Craigslist
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Crate & Barrel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Dorel Industries Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Dorel Juvenile Group Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Eddie Bauer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Evenflo Company Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Family Dollar Stores, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Flickr
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Friendster Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Graco Children's Products Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • IKEA USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • imeem, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • J C Penney Company, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • kate spade LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kmart Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kolcraft Enterprises, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lacoste
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Land of Nod stores
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • LeapFrog Enterprises Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Los Angeles Times
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Maclaren
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mattel Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Meijer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mercedes-Benz USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Meredith Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Neiman Marcus (retail stores)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nestlé USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Newell Rubbermaid Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nickelodeon Networks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nordstrom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Oshkosh B'Gosh Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Peg-Perego Usa Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Playtex Products Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pottery Barn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Procter & Gamble Company (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Procter & Gamble USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • RC2 Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Research In Motion (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Safety 1st
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sealy Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sears Holdings Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Stokke UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Summer Infant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The First Years Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Symphony Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Toys R Us
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • USA Today
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Walt Disney Company, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • World Health Organization

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Baby Durables - US - March 2009

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