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Shopping for Children's Clothing - US - September 2011

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Shopping for Children’s Clothing—U.S., November 2010 as well as Children’s Clothing—U.S., August 2009 and the 2007 report of the same title.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions.

This report covers the market related to shopping for children’s clothing up to and including preteen clothes, and includes the groups:

  • infant (<1 year)
  • toddler/preschool (1-5 years)
  • young boys and girls/preteen (6-11 years).

The principal types of clothing covered in this report include:

  • sleepwear
  • underwear
  • daywear
  • outerwear.

Excluded from this report are children’s footwear, accessories/jewelry, and hats/gloves.

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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

                      • Children’s clothing market continues to grow
                        • Demand for children’s clothing expected to grow due to population growth, Hispanic influence
                          • Larger-sized children’s clothing needed to address increasing weight
                            • Prevalence of school uniforms in some urban areas could dampen sales
                              • Competition intensifies across retail channels
                                • Traditional companies/brands face new competition from high-end brands
                                  • Social media as a marketing tool is the norm, purchasing capability to follow
                                    • Nearly all households with children have purchased children’s clothing in the last year
                                      • Low prices, convenience, and selection at mass merchandisers
                                        • Discounts, coupon offers are greatest motivators to visit a new retailer
                                          • Prices and lack of sales/discounts/coupons greatest deterrents to return visits
                                            • Most shop for clothing with children in tow
                                              • Nonstandard clothing sizes presents a challenge to parents
                                                • Race and Hispanic origin impact shopping habits and perceptions
                                                • Insights and Opportunities

                                                  • GPS tracking in children’s clothing may appeal to concerned parents
                                                    • Focus on activewear to get kids moving
                                                      • Marketing and promotional opportunities
                                                        • Promoting seasonal apparel can encourage year-round sales
                                                          • Timing is everything for sales promotions, biannual sales
                                                            • Support local sports teams through apparel offerings
                                                              • Paperless receipts concept provides convenience and a “green” shade
                                                                • Retail alternatives gaining ground
                                                                • Inspire Insights

                                                                    • Inspire Trend: Why Buy
                                                                      • Inspire Trend: Men Shopping Badly
                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Sales of children’s clothing exceed prerecessionary levels
                                                                            • Sales and forecast of market
                                                                              • Figure 1: Total U.S. retail sales and expected forecast of children’s clothing, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                              • Figure 2: Total U.S. retail sales and expected forecast of children’s clothing, at inflation-adjusted prices*, 2006-16
                                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                • Figure 3: TOTAL U.S. retail sales and expected forecast of children’s clothing, with best and worst cases, 2006-16
                                                                              • Following a steep decline, consumer spending begins recovery in 2010
                                                                                • Figure 4: Amount spent on clothing/shoes for children younger than 12 in the last 12 months, 2002-11
                                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                                              • Birthrate decline could dampen demand for infant/toddler clothing in the short term
                                                                                • Figure 5: U.S. birthrate, 2003-11
                                                                              • Growth in child population to outpace total population growth
                                                                                • Figure 6: U.S. population, by age, 2006-16
                                                                              • Hispanic children to account for a greater share of the market
                                                                                • Figure 7: U.S. Hispanic households, by presence and ages of children, 2009
                                                                                • Figure 8: U.S. Hispanic and non-Hispanic population of children, 2006-16
                                                                              • Economic uncertainties continue to encourage budget-shopping behaviors
                                                                                • Consumers wary about future
                                                                                  • Figure 9: University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment, January 2007-August 2011
                                                                                • Retailers have conditioned shoppers to look for deals
                                                                                  • Figure 10: Redemption growth for coupons, by type, 2009
                                                                                • Childhood obesity epidemic spurs demand for larger-sized children’s clothing
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents, aged 2-19, for selected years 1971-2008
                                                                                • School uniforms remain prevalent
                                                                                  • Figure 12: Percentage of public schools requiring uniforms, 1999-2008
                                                                                • Sidebar: Classroom conformity may detract from more fashionable retail sales
                                                                                  • Changing family dynamics affects shopping behavior
                                                                                    • Kids as influencers of parents
                                                                                      • Figure 13: Abercrombie kids girl’s push up bikini top, 2011
                                                                                  • Segment Performance

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Sales of children’s clothing, by segment
                                                                                        • Sales of market, by segment
                                                                                          • Figure 14: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of children’s clothing, at current prices, by segment, 2006-16
                                                                                        • Presence of older children drives growth in boys’ and girls’ segments
                                                                                          • Figure 15: Total U.S. retail sales of children’s clothing, by segment, 2009 and 2011
                                                                                      • Segment Performance—Infant and Toddler

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Growth predicted for infant/toddler clothing segment
                                                                                            • Sales and forecast of infant/toddler clothing
                                                                                              • Figure 16: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of infant and toddler clothes, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                          • Segment Performance—Girls’ Clothing

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Girls’ clothing to remain largest segment of children’s clothing
                                                                                                • Sales and forecast of girls’ clothing
                                                                                                  • Figure 17: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of girls’ clothes, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                              • Segment Performance—Boys’ Clothing

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Boys’ clothing sales on the rise
                                                                                                    • Sales and forecast of boys’ clothing
                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of boys’ clothes, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                                  • Retail Channel Developments

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Cross-channel competition heats up
                                                                                                        • More consumers shop online
                                                                                                          • Resale stores have a renewed caché
                                                                                                          • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                            • Overview
                                                                                                              • Generalist clothing retailers/brands
                                                                                                                • Gap, Inc.: Old Navy/GapKids/babyGap
                                                                                                                  • Specialist children clothing retailers/brands
                                                                                                                    • Gymboree
                                                                                                                      • Carter’s
                                                                                                                        • Hanna Andersson
                                                                                                                          • Department stores
                                                                                                                            • Macy’s
                                                                                                                              • JCPenney
                                                                                                                                • Sears
                                                                                                                                  • Mass Merchanidsers
                                                                                                                                    • Target
                                                                                                                                      • Other retailers/brands
                                                                                                                                        • Disney
                                                                                                                                        • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                            • Social media tools and tactics
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Profiled companies and brands retail stores and social media reach, July 28, 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Integrating Facebook and Twitter
                                                                                                                                              • Bloggers
                                                                                                                                                • Other technological advancements
                                                                                                                                                  • Other marketing activity
                                                                                                                                                    • Collective discounting
                                                                                                                                                      • Advertising expenditures
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Apparel retailers advertising spending, 2008-09
                                                                                                                                                      • Television advertising
                                                                                                                                                        • Macy’s
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Macy’s television commercial, Back to School, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Kohl’s
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Kohl’s television commercial, Everything the kids want, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Target
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Target television commercial, Girls Dancing, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • H&M
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: H&M television commercial, Boys Dancing, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                                                                        • Retailer and designer collaborations for children’s clothing
                                                                                                                                                          • High-end designer collections for children’s clothing
                                                                                                                                                            • Pump wear improves lives of children with diabetes
                                                                                                                                                              • 77kids Style Lab is all about the experience
                                                                                                                                                              • Children’s Clothing Purchases and Spend

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Purchase incidence remains relatively stable throughout recession
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Purchased clothing/shoes for any children younger than 12 in the last 12 months, 2002-11
                                                                                                                                                                  • However, purchasing for babies declined significantly
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Purchased clothing/shoes for children age groups younger than 12 in the last 12 months, 2002-11
                                                                                                                                                                  • Moms more likely than dads to be purchasers of children’s clothing
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Past 12-month children’s clothing purchase incidence, by key adult demographics, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Overall, demographic groups spend similarly on children’s clothing
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Purchased clothing/shoes for any children younger than 12 in the last 12 months and amount spent, by gender, age, and household income, February 2010-March 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Average annual spending appears to be on the upswing
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Amount spent on clothing/shoes for children age groups younger than 12 in the last 12 months, 2002-11
                                                                                                                                                                • Retailers Shopped for Children’s Clothing

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Mass merchandisers are channel of choice for shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Retail channels typically shopped and where last purchase was made, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Men more willing to spend at the higher end; women go thrifty
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Retail channels typically shopped, by adult gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Nearly half of last purchases among those aged 45+ were at mass merchandisers
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Retail channel where last purchase was made, by adult age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Higher-income parents spread the wealth around
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Retail channel where last purchase was made, by household income, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Motivations to Visit a Children’s Clothing Retailer

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Men more likely than women to be influenced by advertising
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Motivations to visit a children’s clothing retailer, by adult gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • 45+ less likely to be motivated by digital promotions for shopping trips
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Motivations to visit a children’s clothing retailer, by adult age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Promotional tactics more influential among respondents with higher household incomes
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Motivations to visit a children’s clothing retailer, by household income, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Reasons for Not Shopping at a Particular Retailer

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Price is top deterrent to shopping a children’s clothing retailer
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Reasons for not shopping at a particular children’s clothing store, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Store atmosphere causes men to shift retailers visited
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Reasons for not shopping at a particular children’s clothing store, by adult gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Younger consumers more impacted by price, poor quality, long lines
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Reasons for not shopping at a particular children’s clothing store, by adult age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Quality also plays a determining role in where consumers shop
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Reasons for not shopping at a particular children’s clothing store, by household income, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Typical Behaviors When Shopping for Children’s Clothing

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Women wait for sales and use coupons more when shopping
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Typical behaviors when shopping for children’s clothing, by adult gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Older parents (aged 45+) least likely to use coupons—but wait for sales
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Typical behaviors when shopping for children’s clothing, by adult age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Household income levels play a role in shopping behaviors
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Typical behaviors when shopping for children’s clothing, by household income, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Marital/relationship status impacts shopping behavior
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Typical behaviors when shopping for children’s clothing, by marital/relationship status, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Shopping Companions

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Presence of children when shopping means kids have influence at the store
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Shopping companions when buying children’s clothes, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • When men shop, they are less likely to go solo
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Shopping companions when buying children’s clothes, by adult gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes Toward Shopping for Children’s Clothing

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Children’s clothing sizing, styles create challenges for parents
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Attitudes toward shopping for children’s clothing, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Women more opinionated about children’s clothing than men
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Attitudes toward shopping for children’s clothing, by adult gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Higher-income households less price sensitive, see themselves as style-setters
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Attitudes toward shopping for children’s clothing, by household income, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Age and gender of children impact parents’ attitudes about clothing
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Attitudes toward shopping for children’s clothing, by boy age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Attitudes toward shopping for children’s clothing, by girl age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Perceptions of Children’s Attitudes toward Shopping

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                • Girls enjoy shopping, finding styles and sizes is challenging
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Adult perception of children’s attitudes toward shopping, by girl age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                • Cartoons appeal to younger boys, sports teams popular for all young boys
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Adult perception of children’s attitudes toward shopping, by boy age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Overall, Hispanic parents less likely to have purchased children’s clothing
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Past 12-month children’s clothing purchase incidence, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Black parents spend the most on children’s clothing; Asians spend the least
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Amount spent on clothing/shoes for any children younger than 12 in the last 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2010-march 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Median household income by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Mass merchandisers and value department stores are top destinations
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Retail channels typically shopped for children’s clothing, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hispanic parents motivated by coupons/discount offers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Motivations to visit a children’s clothing retailer, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Other races most sensitive to negative store aspects; more likely to stop visiting certain retailers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Reasons for not shopping at a particular children’s clothing store, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cost-related factors impact shopping behavior across all races/ethnicities
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Typical behaviors when shopping for children’s clothing, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hispanics more likely to shop with spouses, older children
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Shopping companionship, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • White parents think children’s clothing is overpriced, more likely to prefer hand-me-downs
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Attitudes toward shopping for children’s clothing, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Disengaged Discounters
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Deal seekers
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Indifferent Independents
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: Children’s clothing clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Motivations to visit a children’s clothing retailer, by children’s clothing clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Reasons for not shopping at a particular children’s clothing store, by children’s clothing clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Typical behaviors when shopping for children’s clothing, by children’s clothing clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Attitudes toward shopping for children’s clothing, by children’s clothing clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Children’s clothing clusters, by gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Children’s clothing clusters, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Children’s clothing clusters, by household income, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Children’s clothing clusters, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix—Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Past 12-month children’s clothing purchase incidence, by marital status, education and region, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Retail channels typically shopped for children’s clothing, by adult age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Retail channels typically shopped for children’s clothing, by marital status, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Retail channels typically shopped for children’s clothing, by region, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Motivations to visit a children’s clothing retailer, by education, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Motivations to visit a children’s clothing retailer, by region, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Reasons for not shopping at a particular children’s clothing store, by region, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Typical behaviors when shopping for children’s clothing, by region, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Shopping companions when buying children’s clothes, by adult age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Shopping companions when buying children’s clothes, by household income, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Shopping companions when buying children’s clothes, by marital/relationship status, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Shopping companions when buying children’s clothes, by region, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Attitudes toward shopping for children’s clothing, by adult age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Attitudes toward shopping for children’s clothing, by region, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Abercrombie & Fitch Co
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • American Apparel Producers Network
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • American Eagle Outfitters Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Apparel Search Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Banana Republic
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Burberry (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Co.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Carter's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Dow Jones & Company Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gap (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Groupon, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gucci Group N.V.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • H&M Hennes & Mauritz
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Council of Shopping Centres
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • J C Penney Company, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kmart Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kohl's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • National Association of Retail & Thrift Shops (NARTS)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Netflix, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old Navy
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Oshkosh B'Gosh Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Payless ShoeSource Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ralph Lauren Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Stella McCartney
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Shopping for Children's Clothing - US - September 2011

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