The market for baby supplies generated sales of more than €3 billion in 2015 and 2016. According to the FJP (Fédération française des industries jouet-puériculture), the average budget allocated to the preparation of a newborn child is €1,500. France has the highest birth rate in Europe, which directly benefits the childcare market, but the findings are mixed. The primary reason is demographic: the fertility rate in 2016 dropped below 2, to 1.93 children per woman. Even if this figure remains one of the highest in Europe, France records a 1.7% drop in the number of births, 14,000 fewer births in 2016 than in 2015, following a drop of 20,000 births from 2014 to 2015. The childcare and baby accessories market is suffering as a result and is losing momentum. Studies predict a decline through to 2025, when the market would reach a value of €3 billion, returning to its 2012 level.
However, it remains supported by creativity and major innovations from manufacturers. However, there are significant disparities between market segments. For example, toys (+2.7% to €638.6 million) remain the sector's driving force, while babywear (-1.5% to €1.5 billion) and childcare (-1.7 to 1 billion) suffered more from consumer arbitrage linked to the crisis.
The baby goods market is a developed and diversified market, characterised by strong competition between specialised retailers and supermarkets. For nearly five years, franchises have also made significant progress in the market. The crisis is still having an impact on the purchasing behaviour of young parents, who are more than ever looking for a good price/quality ratio on products that continue to be very influential. The brand's influence is increasing, but second-hand purchases now account for a third of the childcare market. Car safety items, strollers, other wheeled products and home equipment are often purchased second-hand. Some websites such as Kridelio even offer baby items for rent. In addition, e-commerce is driving the childcare market and trading and the collaborative economy is developing more and more in this sector. In 2015, 8 out of 10 French people were using these methods.
In addition, online sales are increasingly developing. Some brands such as Bébé 9 have launched online efforts, offering an informative magazine that can be consulted online, for example. Other competitors have since emerged, such as Magical Cradle, Allo Baby and Baby Surfer. The Internet has become an essential tool for buying or seeking preliminary information. Faced with the expense of having a child, parents are spending more and more time preparing their purchases, comparing opinions and prices on the Internet. In addition, classified ad sites are multiplying.
The childcare market is made up of many players: children's specialists in fashion or toys, giants who challenge their competitors due to their competitive prices or franchises. As a result, specialists are facing increased competition. They are also threatened by the arrival of pure players, who are beginning to stand out. However, they remain the main providers of the market. Brand loyalty remains strong and most parents say they prefer to buy their baby items directly in stores.
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