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Children's Clothing - US - August 2009

Estimated at $44.1 billion in 2009, the children’s clothing market has faced challenges since 2006 due largely to the unfolding economic crisis. The downturn has compelled families to economize and reduce spending on children’s clothing by limiting replacements, downgrading to less expensive brands, seeking out sales and turning to less expensive retailers.

In addition to examining the ways consumers, suppliers and retailers are dealing with the economic crisis, this report also hones in on the following:

  • The growing number of older, single mothers, and how their tastes and spending differ from other moms
  • The rapidly-growing Hispanic youth population and how their numbers will serve to sustain the market as it waits out the down economy
  • How the green movement has shown up in children’s clothing, driving interest in organic clothing and influencing designs and graphics
  • How the rising incidence of childhood obesity drives the need for larger sizes
  • Which retailers moms turn to for children’s clothing, and how much say their children have in those purchases
  • Moms’ attitudes towards children’s clothing styles, their impressions of their children’s tastes, and how they feel about prices

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

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

                      • Market at a glance
                        • Alternative channels offer moms access to secondhand children’s clothes
                          • Children under 12 will increase by two million in 2014 and include growing number of Hispanic children
                            • Growing number of older moms and unmarried moms will warrant marketing focus
                              • Increases in children’s weight is driving need for plus-sized clothing
                                • Recession drives down demand, compels consumers to change shopping habits
                                  • Concern with environment and child safety drives demands for organics
                                    • Brand identities run the gamut from “kid cool” to “age appropriate”
                                      • Advertising and marketing emphasize savings and value during downturn
                                        • Consumer findings: Who purchases clothing
                                          • The amount spent on clothing is driven by income and age of children
                                            • Choice of retailer varies substantially with mom’s age and income level
                                              • Children make their voices heard in clothing choices
                                                • Moms enjoy shopping for their kids
                                                  • Age appropriate clothing a key concern, especially for moms aged 35+
                                                    • Moms are changing their shopping habits to trim costs
                                                      • Hispanics show high demand for children’s clothing and warrant long-term focus
                                                      • Insights and Opportunities

                                                        • Differentiate strategies for younger vs. older moms
                                                          • Younger moms shop for fun and may seek cooler, hipper fashions for kids
                                                            • Highlight more traditional kids’ styles and value proposition when speaking to older moms
                                                              • Outreach to Hispanic moms and kids
                                                                • Expanding lines for larger children
                                                                • Inspire Insights

                                                                  • Premium and Cutthroat
                                                                    • What it’s about
                                                                      • What we’ve seen
                                                                        • Eco and Ego
                                                                          • What it’s about
                                                                            • What we’ve seen
                                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Population growth can’t compensate for families’ economizing efforts
                                                                                  • Market should stabilize, with Hispanics and kids aged 6-11 offering growth prospects
                                                                                    • Figure 1: Total U.S. sales of children’s clothing, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                                    • Figure 2: Total U.S. sales of children’s clothing, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2004-14
                                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • The state of the apparel industry
                                                                                      • Figure 3: Change in selected Consumer Price Indices, 2000-09
                                                                                    • Economic downturn hurts overall demand as consumers cut back
                                                                                      • Figure 4: Changes or plans to change spending to save money, by gender and presence of children, march 2009
                                                                                    • New-to-you is replacing brand new for some shoppers
                                                                                      • Strong growth in sales and traffic at resale and thrift shops
                                                                                        • Craig’s List garage sales and “for sale” postings increase two-fold from 2007-08
                                                                                          • Moms are changing shopping habits and open to secondhand clothing
                                                                                          • Segment Performance—Overview

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Infant/toddler clothing outperforms other segments from 2007-09
                                                                                                • Girls’ clothing segment shows steepest decline
                                                                                                  • Figure 5: total U.S. sales of children’s clothing, by segment, 2007 and 2009
                                                                                              • Segment Performance—Infants’ and Toddlers’ Clothing

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Growth slowed to crawl in 2007-08 and falls in 2009
                                                                                                    • Strong growth of 2004-06 driven by consumer confidence and proliferation of high-end offerings
                                                                                                      • Moms trade down and turn to affordable, private label brands
                                                                                                        • Sales and forecast of infants’ and toddlers’ clothing
                                                                                                          • Figure 6: Total U.S. sales and forecast of infants’ and toddlers’ clothing, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                                                      • Segment Performance—Girls’ Clothing

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • 2009 marks third year of decline for girl’s clothing segment
                                                                                                            • Trends for fall 2009 include plaids, buffalo checks, leggings
                                                                                                              • Sales and forecast of girls’ clothing
                                                                                                                • Figure 7: Total U.S. sales and forecast of girls’ clothing, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                                                            • Segment Performance—Boys’ Clothing

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Boys’ clothing shows zero net growth from 2004-09
                                                                                                                  • Characters, sports teams and surfer looks
                                                                                                                    • Sales and forecast of boys’ clothing
                                                                                                                      • Figure 8: Total U.S. sales and forecast of boys’ clothing, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                                                                  • Retail Channels

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Mass merchandisers dominant channel, used by two thirds of moms buying kids’ clothing
                                                                                                                          • Figure 9: Where children’s clothing is bought, May 2009
                                                                                                                        • Consumers turn away from high-end retailers and wait for sales
                                                                                                                          • Figure 10: How economic downturn has impacted shopping for children’s clothing, by agree, May 2009
                                                                                                                        • Profiles of major retailers
                                                                                                                          • Mass merchandisers—Walmart and Target
                                                                                                                            • Walmart profits from low pricing strategy and strong private label offerings
                                                                                                                              • Target offers hip, stylish offerings at affordable price points
                                                                                                                                • Value-priced department stores
                                                                                                                                  • JCPenney
                                                                                                                                    • Sears/Kmart
                                                                                                                                      • Kohl’s
                                                                                                                                        • Discount stores
                                                                                                                                          • TJX Companies (T.J. Maxx and Marshalls)
                                                                                                                                            • Ross
                                                                                                                                              • Higher-end department stores
                                                                                                                                                • Macy’s (Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s)
                                                                                                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Market boosted by baby boomlet
                                                                                                                                                      • Opportunity for growth strongest among older children
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 11: U.S. Population by age, 2004-14
                                                                                                                                                      • Among under-12s, Hispanic population growing much faster than total
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 12: U.S. Hispanic population, by age, 2004-14
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 13: Fertility rate, by race & Hispanic origin of mother, 1996-2006
                                                                                                                                                      • Other birth trends: Increase in older moms and unmarried moms
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 14: Number of births and Fertility rate, by age of mother, 2005-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Suppliers and retailers will need to address non-traditional families
                                                                                                                                                        • Increasing weight of kids drives need for larger sizes
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents aged 2-19, for selected years 1976-80 through 2003-06
                                                                                                                                                        • Green trends drive demand for safe, eco-friendly clothes
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Degree of concern relative to environment, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Belief that shopping habits make a difference in the world, and other attitudes, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Leading Companies

                                                                                                                                                        • Suppliers with their own retail stores
                                                                                                                                                          • Carter’s
                                                                                                                                                            • Gap and Old Navy
                                                                                                                                                              • Gymboree
                                                                                                                                                                • The Children’s Place
                                                                                                                                                                  • Tween Brands
                                                                                                                                                                    • Other major suppliers
                                                                                                                                                                      • Children’s Apparel Network
                                                                                                                                                                        • Garanimals
                                                                                                                                                                          • Gerber Childrenswear
                                                                                                                                                                            • Adult and teen brands extended to kids
                                                                                                                                                                              • Premium brands also available for babies and children
                                                                                                                                                                                • Private label brands at major mass merchandisers and department stores
                                                                                                                                                                                • Brand Qualities

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Carters offers a sense of trust, tradition and great affordability
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gap offers cool classics; Old Navy, trendy value
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Gymboree offers rugged, colorful clothes and higher-end, vintage looks with Janie and Jack brand
                                                                                                                                                                                          • American Eagle (77kids) offers new “kid cool” brand
                                                                                                                                                                                            • The Children’s Place offers affordable, kid-friendly fashions
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tween Brands targets girls aged 7-14 with “fun and cool” image
                                                                                                                                                                                                • LT Apparel offers range of brands, including age-appropriate Healthtex
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Garanimals offers mix-and-match brand that helps kids build confidence.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Gerber capitalizes on strong association with healthy, happy babies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sears offers buyer’s protection program
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Avril Lavigne to expand rock star-inspired Abbey Dawn line to girls
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Organic clothing appearing at specialty suppliers and mass merchandisers alike
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Gap: Organic baby clothes, Junk Food t-shirts and upcoming Stella McCartney line
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Advertising and marketing strategies embrace a widening range of media
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The economic downturn is impacting strategies across the retail spectrum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Walmart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nordstrom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Limited Too/Justice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Burlington Coat Factory
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Burlington coat factory: TV ad, 2000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Old Navy’s ads advance overall brand identity, while offering specific promotions on kid’s clothes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Old navy short promotion: TV ad, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Old navy swimwear promotion: TV ad, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Dual focus warranted as both moms and kids have voice in buying clothes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Some brands embrace “age-appropriate” clothes and ad campaigns
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Others invite kids to follow pop idols and take on more sophisticated looks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Licensed products allow clothing makers to take advantage of beloved characters, new movies and emerging pop stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Clothing suppliers and retailers attract kids through websites and “virtual” events
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Garanimals and Tween Brands among brands using websites as “fun” destination sites for kids
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • American Eagle uses innovative online concert to launch “kid cool” brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Who Buys Children’s Clothing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Moms dominant shoppers, with older moms turning to more hand-me-downs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Incidence of buying children’s clothing, by age, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Tiered pricing warranted as clothing is a necessity for parents with children
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Incidence of buying children’s clothing, by household income, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Variations seen in purchasing based on child’s age and gender
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Age of child clothing was bought for, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Amount Spent on Children’s Clothing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Amount spent on clothing rises across income brackets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Amount spent on children’s clothing in last year, by household income, October 2007-December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Amount spent on clothing increases as children age
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Amount spent on children’s clothing in last year, by age of child, October 2007-December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Trended data show significant drop in spending levels from 2004 to 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Trends in amount spent on children’s clothing, January 2002-December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Where Children’s Clothing is Bought

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Mass merchandisers dominant channel, favored especially by 18-34s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Where children’s clothing is bought, by age of parent, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Moms with HH income of $50K+ shop at greater range of retailers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Where children’s clothing is bought, by household income, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes and Behaviors Relative to Kids’ Input and Clothing Choices

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • As children age, they have more input in clothing choices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Who makes decisions about clothing bought, by age of child, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Almost half of kids like sports teams and characters on clothes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Reported children’s interest in clothes with sports teams or characters, by age of parent, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Most moms enjoy shopping for children’s clothes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Enjoyment in shopping and ease in finding clothes child likes, by age of parent, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Majority of moms find clothes too grown up
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Finds children’s clothes too grown up and child dresses like friends, by age of parent, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes and Behaviors Relative to Cost, Value and Economic Downturn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Most moms find clothes overpriced, many seek hand-me-downs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Finds clothing over-priced and prefers hand-me-downs, by age of parent, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Economic downturn has dramatically changed shopping habits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: How economic downturn has impacted shopping for children’s clothing, by household income, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hispanics spend the most on children’s clothes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Amount spent on children’s clothing in last year, by race/Hispanic Origin, October 2007-December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Upper-income blacks invest heavily in children’s clothes and warrant focus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Average amount spent on children’s clothing in last year, by race/Hispanic Origin and household income, October 2007-December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Introduction
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Joyful Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Grudge Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Unchanged Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Children’s clothing clusters, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Incidence of buying children’s clothing, by children’s clothing clusters, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: How economic downturn has impacted shopping for children’s clothing, by children’s clothing clusters, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Where children’s clothing is bought, by children’s clothing clusters, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Attitudes and opinions regarding prices, styles and child’s preferences, by children’s clothing clusters, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Children’s clothing clusters, by age group, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Children’s clothing clusters, by income group, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Children’s clothing clusters, by race group, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Children’s clothing clusters, by Hispanic origin, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Children’s clothing clusters, by marital status, June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Trended incidence of purchasing clothes from 2006-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Trends in incidence of buying children’s clothing, January 2002-December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • American Apparel Producers Network
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Apparel Search Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Banana Republic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Burberry (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Co.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Calvin Klein, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Carter's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Gap (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Garan, Incorporated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Gerber Childrenswear Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • International Council of Shopping Centres
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • J C Penney Company, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kellwood Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kmart Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lacoste
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • LT Apparel Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Nike
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Nordstrom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Old Navy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Oshkosh B'Gosh Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Skechers USA Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Gymboree Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The TJX Companies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tween Brands Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Children's Clothing - US - August 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)