Shifting demographics in the UK are contributing to increased demand for childrenswear. A recent baby boom in 2011 has led to stronger growth in the category overall, with these children now turning eight.
Trends in womenswear and menswear continued to filter down into childrenswear in 2018, leading to the category shifting more towards the premium end. Millennial parents are spending more on their children than ever before and the proliferation of designer childrenswear launches from leading luxury houses such as Gucci, Balenciaga and Chloe has prompted an increasing number of multi-brand retailers to enter the category, including Net-a-Porter, MATCHESFASHION.
2018 saw a simultaneous rise in popularity of both traditional formal childrenswear and gender-neutral styles. The young royals, Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, are known for their old-school, aristocratic signature style, having already become influential childrenswear icons, regularly spurring a spike in demand and subsequent sell-out of anything they wear.
Asda and its George label continued to lead the category in 2018, largely thanks to its UK-wide network of stores, competitive prices and the convenience it offers busy parents. However, the more fashion-forward high street brand Next is beginning to catch up as price is no longer the only factor driving sales in the childrenswear category.
Private label players and discounters continued to drive childrenswear in the UK in 2018 thanks to both their convenience and value for money offerings. Three of the big four UK supermarkets ranked among the top six in the category, namely Asda with its George range, Tesco with F&F and J Sainsbury with Tu.
Fast fashion retailers are continuing to improve their childrenswear ranges with mini-me-inspired trend-led collections. Parents are taking more of an interest than ever in their children’s style and the trickle down of industry-wide fashion trends is abundantly clear.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Apparel and Footwear market research database.