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Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Nursery and Baby Equipment Retailing - UK market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • Lessons to learn from Mothercare’s demise
  • The rise of the second-hand market
  • Specialist brands and retailers are broadening their ranges

Covered in this report

The nursery and baby equipment market entered a period of decline in 2018 and is expected to have declined further in 2019, with sales down by approximately 2.8%, from £916 million to £890 million. This means that on average £231 is spent per child aged 0-4 in the UK, down from £234 in 2018. The market has been rather turbulent over the last two years – with two specialists exiting the market. In 2018 Toys R Us, alongside its baby specialist arm Babies R Us, exited the market. Following this, in late 2019 Mothercare decided to call it a day after years of attempting to turn things around, including selling off its Early Learning Centre toy chain and entering a CVA in 2018. Shortly after, Mamas & Papas announced it too had entered administration, five years after it cut rents via a CVA.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Chana Baram, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The nursery and baby equipment market has suffered from increased competition from discounters and online retailers such as Amazon. Since the closure of Mothercare and Babies R Us the market has become even more fragmented, making it more important than ever for retailers and brands to stand out and try to capitalise on the loss of the largest nursery and baby specialist Chana Baram
Senior Retail Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • The nursery and baby market is expected to continue declining
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail sales of nursery and baby equipment, 2014-24
            • Parents trade down in pushchairs, but turn to premium feeding options
              • Figure 2: Breakdown of consumer spending on nursery and baby equipment, by category, 2017 and 2019
            • Spend shifts from specialists to online retailers
              • Figure 3: Distribution of spending on nursery & baby equipment, by type of retailer, 2016-19
            • The number of live births in the UK continues to decline
              • Figure 4: Number of live births in the UK, 1960-2018
            • Companies and brands
              • Retailers and brands have reduced their advertising spend
                • Figure 5: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on nursery and baby equipment, 2016-19
              • TV advertising is the most popular option
                • Figure 6: Proportion of advertising spend on nursery and baby products, by media type, 2016-19
              • The consumer
                • Almost three in five bought some baby equipment second-hand
                  • Figure 7: Categories of nursery/baby equipment purchased, December 2019
                • Over three quarters of parents bought some nursery and baby equipment online
                  • Figure 8: Channels used for buying nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                • Specialist retailers remain the most popular option
                  • Figure 9: Type of retailer used for buying new nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                • Most second-hand items are bought online
                  • Figure 10: Retailers or forums used to buy second-hand nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                • Price is top priority when choosing between retailers
                  • Figure 11: Factors prioritised when choosing a nursery and baby equipment retailer, December 2019
                • Eight in 10 parents were gifted items
                  • Figure 12: Nursery and baby equipment received as a gift or hand-me-down, December 2019
                • Baby showers are the most common gifting opportunity
                  • Figure 13: Gifting opportunities parents have participated in for their child, December 2019
                • Specialists are being used as showrooms to trial products
                  • Figure 14: Retail services parents would be interested in, December 2019
                • Parents turn to online reviews and advice from family or friends
                  • Figure 15: Sources used by parents to learn about nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                • Both parents want to be included in decisions
                  • Figure 16: Attitudes towards nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                • What we think
                • Issues and Insights

                  • Lessons to learn from Mothercare’s demise
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • The rise of the second-hand market
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Specialist brands and retailers are broadening their ranges
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Figure 17: Silver Cross babywear, 2019
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • The market is predicted to decline to £890 million
                                    • Parents trade down in pushchairs, but turn to premium feeding options
                                      • Spend is being redirected online as the specialist sector faces difficulties
                                        • The number of live births in the UK declined in 2018
                                          • The average age of new parents continues to increase
                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                            • The market is predicted to decline by 3%
                                              • Figure 18: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail sales of nursery and baby equipment, 2014-24
                                            • Second-hand
                                              • Specialist retailers shut shop
                                                • Figure 19: UK retail sales of nursery and baby equipment, at current and constant prices, 2014-24
                                              • Forecast methodology
                                              • Market Segmentation

                                                • Lightweight pushchairs have led to a slowdown in spending
                                                  • Premiumisation in feeding has led to an increase in spending
                                                    • Spend by sector
                                                      • Figure 20: Consumer spending on baby and nursery equipment, by category, 2017 and 2019
                                                      • Figure 21: Breakdown of consumer spending on nursery and baby equipment, by category, 2017 and 2019
                                                  • Channels to Market

                                                      • Spend shifts online
                                                        • Figure 22: Distribution of spending on nursery & baby equipment, by type of retailer, 2016-19
                                                      • Specialist chain sector has been decimated…
                                                        • Figure 23: UK estimated distribution of spending on nursery & baby equipment, by type of retailer, 2016-19
                                                      • …leading to the continued fragmentation of the market
                                                        • Figure 24: Stokke’s Westfield London store, 2018
                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                      • The number of live births in the UK continues to decline
                                                        • Figure 25: Number of live births in the UK, 1960-2018
                                                      • The total fertility rate has decreased for the sixth year in a row
                                                        • Figure 26: Total fertility rate (number of children per woman), 1990-2018
                                                      • Average age of parents increased for the 10th consecutive year
                                                        • Figure 27: Standardised mean age of mothers in England and Wales, 2008-18
                                                      • Fertility rates decreased for all ages except for women aged over 40
                                                        • Figure 28: Age-specific fertility rates across England and Wales, 1990-2018
                                                      • More women are remaining childless…
                                                        • Figure 29: Family size distribution of women in England and Wales born between 1945 and 1973 who are assumed to have completed their childbearing, 2018
                                                      • …as higher levels of women than ever are in the workforce
                                                        • Figure 30: Employment rate among those aged 16-64, by gender, 1971-2018
                                                      • Fewer people of childbearing age own their homes
                                                        • Figure 31: Number of households, by tenure – 16-44 year olds, 2008/09-2017/18
                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Mothercare closes all UK stores
                                                        • Mamas & Papas reviews its store strategy
                                                          • Aldi launches own-label baby equipment
                                                            • Brands continue to innovate in the car seat space
                                                              • Mothercare upped its advertising spend to entice customers
                                                              • Competitive Strategies

                                                                • Mothercare calls time on its UK stores
                                                                  • Boots becomes Mothercare’s official UK franchise partner
                                                                    • Figure 32: Mothercare at Boots, 2020
                                                                  • Mamas & Papas reviews its store portfolio
                                                                    • Mamas & Papas’ movement into concessions
                                                                      • Figure 33: Mamas & Papas concession in Next Home, 2018
                                                                    • Independent specialists increase focus on curated products
                                                                      • JoJo Maman Bébé benefits from late discounting
                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                        • New ranges
                                                                          • Aldi launches baby product range
                                                                            • Figure 34: Aldi’s new nursery furniture range, 2019
                                                                          • Maxi-Cosi enters the home equipment category
                                                                            • Figure 35: Maxi-Cosi Iora co-sleeper cot, 2019
                                                                          • Bugaboo partners with Nuna to launch car seats
                                                                            • Adjustable car seats
                                                                              • Cybex Priam offers reversible seating option
                                                                                • Maxi-Cosi Mica offers seat spinning system
                                                                                  • Figure 36: Maxi-Cosi’s seat spinning Mica, 2019
                                                                                • Urban living
                                                                                  • Lightweight pushchairs continue to be popular
                                                                                    • Figure 37: Nuna’s TRIV lightweight pushchair, 2019
                                                                                  • Maxi-Cosi introduces first modular car seat
                                                                                    • Figure 38: Maxi-Cosi’s modular Coral car seat, 2019
                                                                                  • Pushchairs that are folded with the seat attached
                                                                                    • Grow with baby
                                                                                      • Two-in-one travel cot and side sleeper
                                                                                        • Car seats for all ages
                                                                                          • Safety first
                                                                                            • Maxi-Cosi car seat warns parents if it is not properly installed
                                                                                              • Figure 39: A baby lying down in Maxi-Cosi’s Jade car seat carry cot, 2019
                                                                                            • Cybex Z range allows babies to lie flat while sleeping
                                                                                              • Silver Cross launches car safety app
                                                                                                • Figure 40: Silver Cross’ ‘Car Safety Made Simple’ app – a step-by-step guide to car seat installation, 2019
                                                                                              • Joie’s ‘spin safe’ car seat passes toughest crash test
                                                                                                • Technology innovations
                                                                                                  • Elvie’s breast pump provides feeding data
                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Elvie breast pump worn under clothing, 2018
                                                                                                  • Didofy self-folding stroller
                                                                                                    • Figure 42: The Lotus auto-folding stroller by Didofy, 2019
                                                                                                  • Babymoov’s remote control monitor helps keep track of baby
                                                                                                    • Bluebell reinvents the baby monitor
                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Bluebell’s three-part baby monitor, 2019
                                                                                                    • Cybex e-PRIAM electric pushchair
                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Cybex e-PRIAM promotional material, 2019
                                                                                                    • Collaborative efforts
                                                                                                      • RAC launches car seat produced by Cosatto
                                                                                                        • Figure 43: The new RAC Come and Go i-Rotate car seat, produced for the RAC by car seat maker Cosatto, 2019
                                                                                                      • Stokke collaborates with artist for limited edition canopy design
                                                                                                        • Figure 44: The new Stokke Beat, 2019
                                                                                                      • John Lewis teams up with NCT
                                                                                                      • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                        • Retailers and brands have reduced their advertising spend
                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on nursery and baby equipment, 2016-19
                                                                                                        • Chicco overtaken by Mothercare as top advertiser
                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on nursery and baby equipment, by top 20 advertisers, 2015-19
                                                                                                        • Discount supermarkets up focus on baby products
                                                                                                          • Figure 47: The Baby Box Co. teamed up with Lidl to offer parents a baby starter kit, 2019
                                                                                                        • TV advertising is again the most popular option
                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Proportion of advertising spend on nursery and baby products, by media type, 2016-19
                                                                                                        • Mothercare concentrated on digital with #BodyProudMums campaign
                                                                                                          • Figure 49: The photo that started it all, the first image released by Mothercare for the ‘Body Proud Mums’ campaign, 2019
                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on nursery and baby products, by media type, 2019
                                                                                                        • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                          • Almost three in five bought some baby equipment second-hand
                                                                                                            • Over three quarters of parents bought something online
                                                                                                              • The majority of parents are concerned about price
                                                                                                                • Baby showers are the top gifting opportunity
                                                                                                                  • Parents rely on online reviews and familial advice
                                                                                                                    • Parents want brands to be more inclusive
                                                                                                                    • Items Purchased

                                                                                                                      • Most items are bought new, but two in five bought furniture second-hand
                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Categories of nursery/baby equipment purchased, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • Car seats and feeding equipment top items bought new
                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Nursery/baby equipment purchased from new, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • One in five bought a pushchair second-hand
                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Nursery/baby equipment purchased second-hand, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • Travel items and stair gates more popular in rural locations
                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Categories of nursery/baby equipment purchased, by location, December 2019
                                                                                                                    • Where Items Have Been Purchased

                                                                                                                      • Two thirds bought baby equipment in-store
                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Channels used for buying nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • Those with younger children are more likely to shop online
                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Channels used for buying nursery and baby equipment, by age of youngest child in household, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • Specialist retailers remain the most popular option…
                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Type of retailer used for buying new nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • …with Mothercare the top retailer used
                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Bugaboo’s Amazon store, 2020
                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Retailers used for buying new nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • Most second-hand items are bought online
                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Retailers or forums used to buy second-hand nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                                                                                                                    • Purchase Drivers

                                                                                                                      • Price is top priority when choosing between retailers
                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Factors prioritised when choosing a nursery and baby equipment retailer, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • Price and quality equal among those with higher socio-economic status
                                                                                                                        • Customers are becoming more aware of environmental implications
                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Factors prioritised when choosing a nursery and baby equipment retailer, by socio-economic status, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • Gifting Opportunities

                                                                                                                        • Eight in 10 parents were gifted items
                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Nursery and baby equipment received as a gift or hand-me-down, December 2019
                                                                                                                        • Baby showers are the most common gifting opportunity
                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Gifting opportunities parents have participated in for their child, December 2019
                                                                                                                        • Gender reveals are growing in popularity among younger parents
                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Gifting opportunities parents have participated in for their child, by generation, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • Interest in Services

                                                                                                                        • Specialists are being used as showrooms to trial products
                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Retail services parents would be interested in, December 2019
                                                                                                                        • Retailers are upping the experiential factor for parents
                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Mamas & Papas’ personal shopping area within the Next Home store, 2018
                                                                                                                        • Those living in cities are most likely to partake in in-store services
                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Retail services parents would be interested in, by area type, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • Trusted Sources for Parents

                                                                                                                        • Parents turn to online reviews and advice from family or friends
                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Sources used by parents to learn about nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                                                                                                                        • Dads are more likely to turn to specialist blogs
                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Sources used by parents to learn about nursery and baby equipment, by gender of parent, December 2019
                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Nursery and Baby Equipment

                                                                                                                        • Both parents are decision-makers
                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Attitudes towards nursery and baby equipment, December 2019
                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Campaign for the new Stokke Beat stroller, 2019
                                                                                                                        • Housing and space dictate purchasing attitudes
                                                                                                                          • Credit options could cause parents to trade up
                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: West Elm x Pottery Barn Kids furniture, 2018
                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                              • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of nursery and baby equipment, 2019-24

                                                                                                                                About the report

                                                                                                                                This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                                • The Consumer

                                                                                                                                  What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                                • The Competitors

                                                                                                                                  Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                                • The Market

                                                                                                                                  Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                                • The Innovations

                                                                                                                                  New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                                • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                                  Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                                • The Trends

                                                                                                                                  What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                                                                                                Description