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UK Nursery and Baby Equipment market report

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 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 and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Products covered in this Report

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

In-home safety equipment – including safety gates, eg stairgates, fireguards, baby monitors and general-purpose household protection goods (plug blocks, fridge locks, etc), which are aimed at babies and toddlers.

Furniture and nursery equipment – including cots, cribs, Moses baskets, bedding, highchairs, booster seats, baby changing units and playpens. Mattresses and furniture accessories are also profiled within this product grouping.

Activity – including bouncers, swings and rocker chairs. Feeding and hygiene equipment – including feeding and hygiene equipment (bottles, sterilisers, soothers etc), changing bags and mats, baths and bath accessories, toilet training equipment (potties, trainer toilet seats etc).

Baby carriages (wheeled goods) and accessories – including prams, pushchairs, buggies, convertibles (eg ‘two-in-ones’ and ‘three-in-ones’), harnesses, papooses, baby carriers and accessories marketed as suitable to be used with a pram or pushchair such as parasols, sun canopies, rain covers, insect nets, foot muffs, liners, bag clips and additional basket. This category also includes car seats sold as part of an integrated transport system.

Car seats and in-car restraints – such as seats, car booster seats and related accessories. With regard to car seats, it includes those seats that cannot be integrated with a travel system.

Hipseat – a seat that provides a firm shelf for the child to sit on and supports their increasingly heavy weight from underneath, thus eliminating the causes of back pain.

Products excluded from this Report

Excluded from this Report are products such as baby clothing, nappies, baby toiletries, baby milk, foods, toys and other consumables, as well as more general household items which are not baby-specific.

What consumers spend on second-hand goods is outside the scope of this Report but is discussed with respect to the impact of their sale on the market for new equipment.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Chana Baram, a leading analyst in the Retail 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 benefited from many successful years of growth, but the sector is now entering more challenging times. It is more important than ever, in such a highly fragmented market, for retailers and brands to stand out by continuing to innovate and have a strong online strategy. Chana Baram
Research Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Nursery products continue to grow
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail sales of nursery and baby equipment, 2012-22
            • Decline in UK birth rates
              • Figure 2: Number of live births in the UK, 1960-2016
            • Wheeled goods driving growth, but furniture declines
              • Figure 3: Sales of nursery and baby equipment, by share of sector, 2017 (est)
            • Companies and brands
              • Innovations
                • Embracing digital
                  • The consumer
                    • Car seats and wheeled products key items
                      • Figure 4: Nursery/baby equipment purchased, December 2017
                    • Specialist and online retailers preferred
                      • Figure 5: Retailers used for purchasing nursery/baby equipment, December 2017
                    • Gifting is a large part of the sector
                      • Figure 6: Percentage of items received as a gift or hand-me-down, December 2017
                    • Baby products are perceived by most to be overpriced
                      • Figure 7: Consumer attitudes towards nursery and baby products, December 2017
                    • Lock to keep pushchairs safe most wanted innovation
                      • Figure 8: Consumer interest in innovations for nursery and baby equipment, December 2017
                    • What we think
                    • Issues and Insights

                      • The market is growing, but growth is slowing
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Embracing online is key
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Opportunities in the market
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                        • Nursery products continue on growth trajectory
                                          • The future is uncertain
                                            • Wheeled goods driving sector growth
                                              • Nursery furniture share declines
                                                • Specialist chains’ share of market increases
                                                  • Dip in 2016 birth rates
                                                    • Weakened Sterling has led to rise in prices
                                                      • People living in smaller spaces
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Nursery and baby equipment market continues to grow
                                                          • Second-hand market
                                                            • Figure 9: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail sales of nursery and baby equipment, 2012-22
                                                          • The future
                                                            • Figure 10: UK retail sales of nursery and baby equipment, at current and constant prices, 2012-22
                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                          • Market Segmentation

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Spend by sector
                                                                • Figure 11: UK sales of baby and nursery equipment, by category, 2017 (est)
                                                              • Wheeled goods now make up a third of the market
                                                                • Car seat growth slows
                                                                  • Convenience important for feeding and sterilising equipment
                                                                    • Nursery furniture struggling
                                                                      • In-home safety benefits from technology innovations
                                                                        • Highchairs and seats suffer from price competition
                                                                          • Figure 12: Sales of nursery and baby equipment, by share of sector, 2017 (est)
                                                                      • Channels to Market

                                                                          • High street struggling
                                                                            • Figure 13: Distribution of spending on nursery & baby equipment, by type of retailer, 2015-2017 (est)
                                                                          • Mothercare increases share of nursery and baby equipment
                                                                            • Figure 14: UK estimated distribution of spending on nursery & baby equipment, by type of retailer, 2015-17
                                                                          • Market becomes increasingly fragmented
                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                            • Birth rate dips 0.3% in 2016
                                                                              • Figure 15: Number of live births in the UK, 1960-2016
                                                                            • Possible effect Brexit will have on birth rates
                                                                              • Figure 16: EU countries, pre and post-1990, 2018
                                                                            • Fertility rates see small decline in 2016
                                                                              • Figure 17: Total fertility rate (number of children per woman), 1990-2015
                                                                            • Average age of mothers increases to 30.4 years
                                                                              • Figure 18: Women’s aspirations for the next three years, by age, October 2016
                                                                            • More adults are remaining childless
                                                                              • Figure 19: Family size distribution of women born between 1945-71 who are assumed to have completed their childbearing, 2016
                                                                              • Figure 20: Plans to start a family in the future, by household income, August 2014
                                                                            • Fears over Brexit led to increase in product prices
                                                                              • Figure 21: Sterling to US Dollar exchange rate chart, by month, 2013-18
                                                                            • Lack of space puts pressure on parents
                                                                              • Figure 22: Number of households, by tenure – 16-44-year-olds, 2008/09-2015/16
                                                                              • Figure 23: Attitudes towards the family home, by tenure, May 2016
                                                                            • Influence of online forums
                                                                              • Figure 24: Sources of information, by gender, July 2017
                                                                            • Real wages continue to fall
                                                                              • Figure 25: Average weekly earnings (total pay) vs inflation, January 2016-November 2017
                                                                          • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                            • Digital strategy a must
                                                                              • Mamas & Papas’ experiential retailing
                                                                                • Increase in multifunction products
                                                                                  • Lightweight pushchairs
                                                                                    • Reclining car seats
                                                                                      • Advertising spend reduced by 56%
                                                                                        • Chicco tops list of advertising spend
                                                                                        • Competitive Strategies

                                                                                          • Digital and social media strategy
                                                                                            • Mamas & Papas: Digital First
                                                                                              • Figure 26: Advice section on, 2018
                                                                                            • Hello Baby goes from pureplay to physical retailing
                                                                                              • Mothercare’s digital transformation
                                                                                                • Use of influencers
                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Social and media networks used, by presence of children, March 2017
                                                                                                • Acquisitions
                                                                                                  • Smaller brands concentrate on sleep accessories
                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Sweet Dreamers Baa Baa Blankie, 2018
                                                                                                  • Experiential retailing
                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Interest in additional services offered by department stores, by presence of children, May 2017
                                                                                                  • Mamas & Papas: Case Study
                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Mamas & Papas Westfield London, 2016
                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Mamas & Papas One Four Four store, 2016
                                                                                                  • Babies “R” Us: Purely transactional
                                                                                                  • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                    • Safety first
                                                                                                      • Maxi-Cosi launches child car seat with airbags
                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Air i-Size, 2018
                                                                                                      • Sleep safely
                                                                                                        • Brizi pollution protector
                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Brizi inserted in pushchair, 2018
                                                                                                        • Groegg 2 nightlight
                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Gro egg 2 thermometer nightlight, 2018
                                                                                                        • Buggy and stroller innovations
                                                                                                          • Cybex Gold: Eezy S Twist
                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Cybex gold collection: Eezy S Twist, 2018
                                                                                                          • Triple buggy
                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Joovy Qool buggy, 2018
                                                                                                          • Compact is key
                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Maxi-Cosi Laika, 2018
                                                                                                          • Bugaboo Fox
                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Bugaboo Fox when folded, 2018
                                                                                                          • Transformers
                                                                                                            • Valeto suitcase highchair
                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Valeto part suitcase, part highchair, 2017
                                                                                                            • Travel changing bag
                                                                                                              • Figure 40: POD travel changing bag, 2017
                                                                                                            • Joie Multiply highchair
                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Joie Multiply 6-in-1
                                                                                                            • Litecup
                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Litecup, 2017
                                                                                                            • Chicco Baby Hug 4-in-1
                                                                                                              • SleepSpace
                                                                                                                • Figure 43: BabyHub’s SleepSpace travel cot turned tepee, 2018
                                                                                                              • Customisation
                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Customisable Tripp Trapp, 2018
                                                                                                              • Sport-led equipment
                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Stokke athleisure collection, 2018
                                                                                                              • Collaborations
                                                                                                                • Rachel Zoe x Quinny
                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Rachel Zoe x Quinny Luxe Sport collection, 2018
                                                                                                                • Silver Cross royal connections
                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Silver Cross Reflex, in collaboration with Aston Martin, 2018
                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Marie-Chantal for Silver Cross, 2018
                                                                                                                • iCandy for Land Rover
                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: iCandy for Land Rover, 2017
                                                                                                                • Maxi-Cosi Star Wars
                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Maxi-Cosi Rodi Star Wars seat, 2017
                                                                                                                • Cybex x Jeremy Scott
                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Cybex x Jeremy Scott, 2018
                                                                                                                • Technology and apps
                                                                                                                  • Nokia Thermo
                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Nokia Thermo, 2017
                                                                                                                  • Liv Cam
                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Liv Cam, 2017
                                                                                                                  • Convenience
                                                                                                                    • Hands-free feeding
                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: FeedingBuddy, 2018
                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: SnüzPouch, 2017
                                                                                                                    • Fully reclining car seat
                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Joie i-Level, 2017
                                                                                                                  • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                    • Reduction in advertising spend
                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on nursery and baby equipment, by advertiser, 2013-17
                                                                                                                    • Chicco is the biggest spender
                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Chicco Next2Me crib, 2018
                                                                                                                    • Mamas & Papas focuses on digital advertising
                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Mamas & Papas Instagram page, 2018
                                                                                                                    • Gender stereotyping
                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Mothercare ELC cleaning range, 2018
                                                                                                                    • Bugaboo: move freely
                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Bugaboo Move Freely campaign, 2017
                                                                                                                    • Mothercare #welcometotheclub
                                                                                                                      • Almost half of top advertisers prefer TV campaigns
                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on nursery and baby products, by media type, 2017
                                                                                                                      • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                        • Nursery furniture more likely to be purchased by affluent parents
                                                                                                                          • 89% purchased products from new
                                                                                                                            • Specialist and online retailers top places of purchase
                                                                                                                              • 56% receive gifts from family members, but only 20% use gift list
                                                                                                                                • Four out of five agree that baby products are overpriced
                                                                                                                                  • Mums go online for advice
                                                                                                                                    • Safety top concern
                                                                                                                                      • High interest in product to keep pushchairs safe
                                                                                                                                      • Items Purchased

                                                                                                                                        • Car seats and wheeled products key items
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Nursery/baby equipment purchased, December 2017
                                                                                                                                        • Popularity of side-sleeping cribs
                                                                                                                                          • Car seats more likely to be purchased by those in towns
                                                                                                                                            • Baby furniture purchased by more affluent parents outside London
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Percentage of parents with children aged 0-4 who bought nursery furniture, by location, December 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Nine in 10 purchased products as new
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Items purchased new or second-hand, December 2017
                                                                                                                                          • Where Nursery and Baby Equipment Has Been Purchased

                                                                                                                                            • Specialist and online retailers preferred choice
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Retailers used for purchasing nursery/baby equipment, December 2017
                                                                                                                                            • The role of specialists in the market
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Free 4D scan offer, 2016
                                                                                                                                            • Those living in rural locations far more likely to purchase online
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Channels used to purchase nursery/baby equipment, by location, December 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Majority buy from more than one retailer
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Repertoire of retailers used for purchasing nursery/baby equipment, December 2017
                                                                                                                                          • Role of Gifting

                                                                                                                                            • Over half of parents gifted items by family members
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Percentage of items received as a gift or hand-me-down, December 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Only one in five use gift list
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: How gifts were received, December 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Younger parents more likely to have baby shower
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: How gifts were received, by age, December 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Wealthier parents more likely to have baby shower and a gift list
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: How gifts were received, by socio-economic status, December 2017
                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Nursery and Baby Equipment

                                                                                                                                            • Four out of five people think baby products are overpriced
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Consumer attitudes towards nursery and baby products, December 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Two thirds of parents trust online communities for recommendations
                                                                                                                                              • Mums more likely to go online for advice
                                                                                                                                                • Younger parents drawn to branded product
                                                                                                                                                  • Those living in urban locations want space-saving products
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Nursery and baby equipment purchasing behaviours – CHAID – Tree output, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Nursery and baby equipment buying behaviours – CHAID – Table output, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                  • Interest in Innovations

                                                                                                                                                    • Health and safety are number one concerns
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: Consumer interest in innovations for nursery and baby equipment, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • Increase in reliance on apps
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Baby Feed Timer, breastfeeding tracking app, 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Baby Monitor 3G app, 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Mums more interested in product to keep buggies safe
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                            • The Baby Products Association
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology