Sales of childrenswear slumped during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as schools were forced to close for at least four months during the lockdown periods. Boys' apparel suffered the steepest retail value declines.
Childrenswear staged a recovery as parents prepared for schools reopening after the summer holidays, recording double-digit retail value growth in May 2020 and in particular in July and August 2020 due to a catch-up effect during the summer holidays before the children returned to school in September. This was also the case for baby and toddler wear as these children rapidly grow out of their clothes, and growth was apparent to a lesser extent in boys’ and girls’ apparel.
While many parents turned to the private label ranges of hypermarkets and supermarkets in 2020 due to the closures of non-essential retailers, many mainstream specialist childrenswear stores that were already waning faced major challenges. For instance, players such as Groupe Okaïdi, Kidiliz Group and Orchestra had to close outlets after the lockdown.
Childrenswear is expected to return to constant 2020 retail value growth in 2021 and 2022, as parents begin to replace items that their children have grown out of or have worn out, followed by further declines over the remainder of the forecast period. This will lead to an overall flat constant 2020 retail value performance over the forecast period, with actual sales continuing to lag pre-pandemic levels even by 2025.
Second-hand products could also be a threat to childrenswear going forward. Increasingly influenced by budgetary constraints and ideological factors after the pandemic, parents could be further inclined to buy second-hand clothes for their children, in fact possibly more so than for themselves.
In spite of the anticipation of a better performance than some adult areas in apparel over the forecast period, childrenswear will probably see more players failing, as well as witnessing further consolidation over the forecast period. The specialist children’s apparel retailer, Kidiliz Group, owner of the Z Generation, Absorba, Chipie, Catimini and Lili Gaufrette brands, announced its bankruptcy in September 2020.
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This report originates from Passport, our Childrenswear research and analysis database.
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