The report covers all maternitywear – including outerwear and underwear (nightwear and lingerie). Within the context of this report, maternitywear is defined as being clothing that is specifically produced for wearing during pregnancy. Underwear includes maternity support bras, nursing bras, maternity tights and swimwear.
- The maternitywear market grew just over 1% in the two years to 2009 to reach £140 million. It has not grown as strongly as the larger womenswear market, partly due to perceptions of maternitywear as expensive.
- Four in ten women who have ever bought maternity clothing say it's too expensive, despite the growth of ranges from lower-cost fashion stores such as Peacocks, Dorothy Perkins and H&M.
- The increasing number of older first-time mothers creates a potential market for clothing stores with a similar shopper base (ie over-30s) to launch maternitywear. Gap and Zara are relatively new entrants, for example, helping them to continue catering for existing customers during pregnancy rather than losing them to other stores.
- Trousers are the most popular item of maternitywear bought, followed by tops and jeans. Trousers and jeans are also growing fastest in popularity, along with lingerie.
- The 25-34-yr old age group buys most maternity clothing and under-25s the least: jeans and tops are the must-have buy for the latter group. Expense and unfashionable styling are the key barriers to younger pregnant women buying more clothing.
- A more fashion-oriented positioning is increasingly important amongst those in the maternitywear market. In September 2009, the leader in the maternity market, Mothercare, relaunched its range as M2b, using pregnant TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher to model and promote the range. TV presenter Holly Willoughby has also produced and promoted a maternity range available online from Very.co.uk.