Summary of our market study

The global baby apparel market has experienced substantial growth, with a forecasted increase in value from $38.62 billion in 2019 to $53.51 billion, marking a CAGR of 6.7%. Key trends shaping this market include a marked preference for branded and fashionable items among parents, driven by influences such as social media and a shift towards higher disposable incomes. Additionally, there's a noticeable demand for sustainable and organic baby products, reflecting a growing environmental consciousness among consumers. Online retail is anticipated to grow even more due to its convenience and product range. Despite a declining birth rate in the US, spending on baby apparel remains robust, particularly among affluent and Millennial parents who value brand loyalty and exhibit a willingness to spend for quality and convenience. The sector has also welcomed innovations such as clothing rental services, catering to a preference for luxury and sustainability.

The market is largely dominated by key players like Carter's and Gap, with substantial investment in expanding their baby apparel ranges. The industry is also adapting to regulatory requirements centered on safety and environmental standards, influencing product development and market strategy.

Baby Apparel Market Trends in the United States

The baby apparel market in the United States is experiencing significant shifts due to the influence of new parental lifestyles and demographic changes. Despite a general decline in the U.S. birth rate over the last decade, the country still boasts a substantial number of births, ranking sixth globally with over 15 to 20 million babies born between 2015 and 2020. However, there is a nuanced trend where birth rates are falling for women under 40 but increasing for those over 40, possibly due to advancements in fertility technologies.

Income levels play a critical role in determining the expenditure on baby clothing. Lower-income families spend an average of half as much on baby clothing compared to the upper class. As the level of income increases, it's observable that parents are willing and able to spend more on their children's clothing needs, potentially leading to a rise in per-child spending over the short to medium term. Social media continues to be a powerful influencer in the baby apparel market, with parents making more frequent purchases and being influenced by fashion trends and celebrity endorsements. This era of social networking has led companies to heavily invest in online platforms and influencer marketing, thereby capitalizing on the direct connection with their target demographic. A particularly noteworthy trend is the rise of non-gendered clothing. About 20% of American parents prefer to break away from traditional gender norms in children's clothing.

There is also a growing demand for organic and toxin-free cotton products as parental awareness of materials and environmental impact grows. This is mirrored by the surge in searches for "organic baby clothes," indicating a substantial niche market. Companies are now racing to provide products that are not only less harmful to humans but also environmentally friendly. When it comes to purchasing habits, millennials are leading the charge, representing approximately 50 percent of all new parents.

These millennial parents exhibit a preference for online shopping, tend to compare prices using smartphone technology, and display brand loyalty tied to their social or political values. Physical stores, including supermarkets and chain stores, currently dominate the distribution, but e-commerce is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years, supported by the convenience and an increase in online offerings. The rental and subscription box market is emerging as a convenient choice for parents. Services such as Rent the Runway and Stitch Fix have expanded their services to include children's clothing, tapping into the market of parents looking for luxury brands and the convenience of home deliveries. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition from in-store to online shopping, prompting companies.

Key Contenders in the Baby Apparel Market

 Brands Setting the Trends The baby apparel market is teeming with a variety of brands, each carving out their unique niche through innovative products, brand loyalty, and competitive positioning. Here we explore the notable players who have made a significant impact in the landscape of baby clothing. **Carter's** stands as a titan within the sector, with a robust portfolio that has consistently resonated with consumers. Their specialization in baby and toddler clothing has earned them a reputation for being a go-to brand for the essentials. Their designs, often highlighting comfort and playfulness, have managed to secure a substantial portion of the market share.

  • GAP is synonymous with classic American style, and its baby clothing line is an extension of that brand ethos. Gap's baby apparel range maintains a balance between style and function, providing parents with fashionable yet practical solutions for their little ones' wardrobe needs.
  • Walmart is the retail behemoth that positions itself as a one-stop solution, offering affordability and convenience. Their wide range of baby apparel options caters to budget-conscious parents who are looking for economical choices without compromising on quality.
  • The Children's Place has cemented itself as a specialist in children's apparel, delivering a broad spectrum of styles from everyday casuals to more formal attire. Their extensive collection allows for a wide array of choices to suit different tastes and occasions.
  • Target is another major player that provides a pleasant mix of diverse brands, including their own in-house labels. The convenience of shopping at Target, combined with their reputation for quality at reasonable prices, has made them a popular destination for baby clothing shopping.
  • Gymboree has long been associated with colorful and fun children's wear. Despite facing financial difficulties and restructuring, the brand still holds a special place in the market, especially among parents who favor unique and thematic designs for their kids' apparel.
  • Benetton brings a touch of Italian fashion flair to the baby apparel industry. Their vibrant colors and international style add a fashionable edge to baby wardrobes worldwide, aligning with parents who appreciate global fashion trends. These key players in the baby apparel market have their distinct positioning strategies, but they share a common goal: to dress the youngest generation in comfortable, stylish, and affordable apparel
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

The baby apparel market is most often defined as including clothing for children from 0 to 36 months or up to 85 centimeters high. This market is generally considered to be a sub-segment of the market for children's clothing (0-16 years) or accessories. It is therefore a sub-segment of the clothing market in general, but does not follow the same market dynamics and is instead driven by other factors.

To be more specific, the baby and young children's apparel market includes apparel products for ages zero to 10, and is divided into the zero to two-year-old baby market, the three- to four-year-old toddler market, and the five- to 10- year-old kids market. Within the scope of this study, we will focus mainly on the first segment, sometimes including the second one.

Although it is a sub-segment of the apparel sector, the baby apparel segment is expected to grow significantly faster than women's and men's clothing. The global market has benefited from a CAGR of 8.76% between 2016 and 2021 while the U.S. market grew by 2.65% over the period between 2014 and 2019.

Several new trends are emerging in the baby apparel market, mainly due to a new generation of parents. Today, millennials represent 50% of parents in the United States and will thus influence the market in the short and medium term. This market is characterized by a highly competitive environment, where no company has a market share of more than 12%. Moreover, there are several factors which shape the demand and thus the offer dynamics in the sector. These factors include the declining U.S. birth rate, a high level of loyalty from new parents, and a growing demand for sustainable products.

1.2 The booming global market

The global market for baby clothing was valued at $**.** billion in **** and is expected to reach $**.** billion by the end of ****, corresponding to a CAGR of *.*%. The main drivers of this market include an increase in the demand for branded clothing among the population, rising overall income and a change in ...

1.3 A promising market in the United States

The value of sales in the US baby and toddler clothing market has been growing steadily over the period ****-**** (***)

Sales of clothing for babies and toddlers United States, ****-****, billions of dollars Source Euromonitor  

The American market is characterized by the presence of several actors of the distribution, who are ...

1.4 The covid effect

Social distancing measures have pushed parents to buy clothes online. This shift from physical sales to e-commerce has put some players, having difficulty managing the closure of physical stores, in difficulty. However, this is encouraging players in the sector to invest not only in warehouses, but also in better online platforms ...

2 Demand Analysis

2.1 Demographics and income effects

As a market historically affected by demographic characteristics, it becomes essential to analyse certain characteristics of the US population. For example, it is clear from the graph below that the birth rate in the United States has been declining over the last ten years. However, it is important to note that ...

2.2 The different trends influencing purchasing

Social networks

The purchase of baby clothes is strongly influenced by fashion effects, which pushes parents to buy clothes more frequently. In addition, the new generation of parents is characterized by an intensive use of social networks. Companies have identified this trend as an opportunity, investing heavily in social networks that ...

2.3 Purchasing habits over the millennia

The demand for baby clothing is very much influenced by the buying habits of the new generation of parents. Given that one million Generation Y women give birth to children each year in the United States (***) and has a higher average disposable income, which certainly affects their level of consumption.

In ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Distribution

As can be seen below, there is a clear domination of the physical distribution (***), fuelled by an increasing allocation of space dedicated to children's clothing in supermarkets and department stores

Baby clothing distribution channels World, ****, % of

Despite the obvious dominance of the physical channel, online distribution is expected to grow faster ...

3.2 Value chain

3.3 The emergence of rental

Subscriptions to boxes are becoming more and more frequent. Parents can choose between monthly rental of a set of baby clothes at a fixed price or monthly rental of individual items at a fixed price. This trend stems from the short use of an item as well as the growing awareness ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Products, materials and prices

The most popular products for infants are the following: - the bodies - pajamas - pants - peaks - outerwear - baby shoes - the bibs

Cotton is the world's most widely used fabric for baby's clothing, as it is non-irritating to the skin, yet insulating and absorbent. In fact, **% of ...

4.2 Luxury and second-hand products

Luxury

Since ****, the market for luxury children's clothing has been booming. Social networks also have a role to play, with the children of stars serving as an influence and dictating fashion in the children's clothing segment. One example is the son of Prince William and Kate Middleton, whose white diaper that ...

4.3 Market share

Market shares of children's clothing companies United States, ****, % of sales Source: ****

Carter's and Gap are ahead of the rest of the industry with **% and *% of the market share in value terms in ****, respectively. Today's major market players are focusing on expanding their product portfolios to include baby and children's clothing. Most ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Regulations

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (***)

All children's products in the United States, including children's clothing, are subject to CPSIA regulations. A children's product is defined by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as any "consumer product designed or intended primarily for children ** years of age or younger". The law ...

6 Positioning of the players

6.1 Positioning of the players

  • Carter's
  • Walmart
  • The Children's place
  • Target
  • Gymboree
  • Benetton
  • GAP

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Valeur au détail des vêtements pour bébés et jeunes enfants
  • Ventes de vêtements pour bébés et enfants en bas âge
  • Taux de natalité annuel
  • Budget annuel consacré aux vêtements pour bébés (0 à 2 ans) avant impôt sur le revenu
  • Canaux de distribution de vêtements pour bébé
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Latest news

Benetton Group sanctioned by privacy watchdog - 22/08/2023
  1. Amount of sanction: Benetton Group was fined 240 thousand euros.
  2. Date of Garante inspection resolution: The inspections were scheduled by the Garante in Resolution No. 42 of February 14, 2019.
  3. Period of the inspections: Between November 5 and 7, 2019, the Special Privacy Unit of the Guardia di Finanza carried out the inspections at Benetton Group S.r.l.
  4. Period of the disputed facts and start of data collection: The facts contested against the Company date back to 2015, concerning the collection and storage of personal data through fidelity cards, including of former customers.
  5. Date of first dispute: The first dispute dates back to September 29, 2021.
  6. Length of data retention period stated by the Company: Contrary to what was stated, that the data retention time would be limited to 2 years, personal data of customers were found dating back to the year **2015**.
  7. Number of customers contacted post disenrollment: The company sent promotional emails to 13 customers after their disenrollment from Loyalty marketing and a marketing communication to 4,259 consumers enrolled in the Loyalty program without consent.
Gap fails to turn its fortunes around - 12/07/2022
  • The American group that owns Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta and Old Navy announces the resignation of its CEO Sonia Syngal, who arrived in 2020 in the midst of a storm
  • It has acknowledged that it expects a further decline in sales for the current quarter, of the order of 10%
  • Last year, the company posted sales of 17 billion euros, with net income of 256 million euros
E-commerce now accounts for 13% of Walmart's sales, with $73 billion. - 18/02/2022
  • The world's leading retailer posted sales of $572.8 billion in its last fiscal year.
  • Walmart has decided to double down on its drive, click&collect and delivery business
  • Sales for the Walmart US division reached $393.2 billion.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Carter's
Walmart
The Children's place
Target
Gymboree
Benetton
GAP

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