The global fashion sector has taken a battering in the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of the attire section fell and couldn’t reach towards business expectation level but one segment, the children’s wear market, which didn’t face much trouble rather has been going from strong to a stronger position. Today, the kidswear arena is growing, diversifying, and rapidly becoming one of the key drivers of the industry.
Global market value
According to Statista, in 2018, the global infant and toddler wear market was valued at approximately US$ 169 billion. This market is estimated to reach US$ 239 billion at a CAGR of 3.7% by 2023. Girls’ wear is projected to reach $132.3 billion and the boys’ wear segment is poised to grow at 2.8% CAGR by the end of the analysis period.
The US market is estimated to reach $78 Billion in 2022. China’s market is forecasted to touch $68.8 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 6.7% over the analysis period 2020 to 2027.
The global kids’ apparel market size is expected to gain momentum owing to the increasing number of newborn babies during the forecast period. According to UN and Unicef, around 3.85 lakh babies set foot on the planet each day around the world (140 million a year). This phenomenon will hit to boom kidswear business segment undoubtedly.
Covid wave and post-pandemic business period
The ongoing covid crisis over the past two years has created turmoil in the rising global apparel market.
Due to the unbridled outburst, covid has hit the sector from the first wave. As a result, the business has shrunk, and outlets had been forced to close. Over the last two years, the world has also faced the second and third waves. Export-oriented sector i.e. garment industry has been disrupted, orders have been canceled. The whole world was under lockdown. Questions were raised when the crisis will end! After the short, sharp shock of the Omicron storm, the pandemic phase of COVID-19 looks to be ending for most locations, unless a significant and severe new variant emerges.
According to experts, outbreaks of COVID is decreasing in Europe and US due to regular vaccination and booster doses activities. However, Covid is making its presence recently in several cities, including China and India, although China is still working to implement the zero-Covid policy.
On the other hand, while the Russia-Ukraine conflict that has been going on for the past few weeks has not hit the global apparel sector largely till now, brands have held their exports in the Russian market.
In the last few weeks, high street fashion retailers including H&M, Mango, Zara, Marks and Spencer and Nike have responded to the conflict by closing their Russian stores and suspending online trade. Luxury fashion houses, such as Dior, Hermès, Chanel, Prada, Gucci, and Burberry have also paused operations in this country.
Forhad Hossan, Assistant Manager (Marketing and Merchandising) of Windy Group said, “If the cost of living goes up, the first thing people will stop buying clothing. Covid is one thing that did unstable our apparel market and customer’s mind although that situation is far better now. Recently, fashion retailers are not taking garments to the Russian market due to war. We’ve received a few emails from buyers to hold on orders for one or two weeks and move Russian quantity to other markets that will impact on this catchy market.”
Why kidswear segment getting appreciation for brands
We have trendy fashion and fashionable attires available for both men and women, then why should the Kids be far behind? Kids are one of the things that we do not compromise on. Parents are not thinking twice when it comes to kids and that goes for clothing. Kids outgrow their sizes by leaps and bounds, on average around 6cm a year between the ages of six and 12 years old. According to a recent market survey, kids change and are concerned about their clothes more than adults.
Increasing tendency to wear branded attire among kids, changes in fast lifestyle and increase of income of parents, rise in nuclear families, sound growth of e-commerce, the spread of social media and digital platforms are the driving booster to speed up this sector.
Over the last decade, a rising number of children’s clothing brands has come to the fore to meet this demand and have created a strong platform among the community. Although almost every brand has kids product baskets, let’s check out such players who have established themselves in this competitive market on kids’ wear especially.
The best thing about this leading USA brand since 1865 is that it does not charge sky-high prices even though its products rival some of the best in the market.
Carter’s, Inc. owns two trusted brands – Carter’s and Oshkosh B’Gosh. Carter’s currently controls 17% of the U.S. baby and infant market (sizes 0-7). Carter’s sources season-wise US$ 200 Million from Bangladesh both knit & denim and have been performing for 20-22 years. During the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, 30% of order was canceled from the Bangladesh market but the orders got back in the next time. As the store was closed during the pandemic, online business increased up to 35% globally.
French company ID Group’s brands Okaidi, obaibi & Jacadi have created a craze among parents to choose any type of kid’s products. Okaidi purchases 10 million pcs knit items and 30-35 million pcs woven /denim items from Bangladesh every year & the company’s overall turnover is US$ 1 billion globally. Okaidi didn’t cancel any product orders from Bangladesh during the pandemic whereas others did a little bit. Okaidi has turned itself into a trusted brand where kids & parents can keep reliance. Respecting each child, their tastes and identity, Okaidi brings stylish products for customers in every season.
Tape à l’oeil (TAO)
French retailer Tape À l’Oeil sells around 25 million products annually from a global retail network of 350 stores in 21 countries. This house offers all kinds of exclusive items from newborns to 14 years old with great prices. Since 1993, this brand is performing successfully giving strong emphasis on product innovation. Its global turnover was €169 Mn in 2018.
British retailer Mothercare has been ruling on the global market since 1961 bringing catchy, comfy products in every season. Mothercare is sourcing around 50 million pieces’ attires at this moment from Bangladesh, an amount is almost double from when they started their journey in the country. According to Statista, in 2020, the retailer generated a revenue of 164.7 million British pounds from its operations worldwide.
The Children’s Place
TCP, the US brand is most famous for its young girls’ clothing collection. It has more than a thousand stores in the US and 90 around the world and had a turnover of $2bn in 2019. They are significantly focusing to accelerate the business through digital sales as customers are choosing this platform since lockdown. However, Bangladesh is giving a lot of effort into this brand’s success.
In addition to the above, the following brand’s kids’ lines are also popular among fashion lovers–
As Bangladesh is a prime spot for a mass-recycling experiment, H&M is investing more here, especially for kids’ items. H&M buys around $300 million in kid’s items from Bangladesh along with worth $1 Billion for all products.
One of the Fast-fashion retail brands Zara brings catchy baby attires & changes its designs frequently. Bangladesh exports $300 million worth of kid’s items for Zara which are shipped to different countries.
M&S is doing business with Bangladesh for more than a couple of years. Gradually this company’s buying graph has been increasing from US$ 5 million to US$ 800 million including the catchy kidswear segment.
Prior to removing Bangladesh from the list of sourcing countries in 2014 because of the fire & building collapse incident, they used to buy clothes for infants from Bangladesh for about $500 million per year & trade over Tk 9,000 crore a year globally. According to BGMEA, the company is planning to back to Bangladesh again after almost eight years.
Kids’ current fashion trends: The Covid-19 pandemic has been changing consumer buying priorities and habits. Keeping children safe is a top priority for any parent, especially post-COVID. More than one-quarter of all consumers say they’re purchasing sustainable/environment-friendly apparel during this period.
Knits for kids
Knit has huge scope to make a versatile product range for kids. Boys’ polo, deflated or bat sleeves, printed t-shirts, sweatshirt sets, and rompers are heating the market.
Designers have found unique prints that will be seen on a variety of clothes like polka dots of various sizes, photo prints of animals and flower themes.
Brands understand that parents are becoming more aware of the importance of diversity, and sound mental health and they want to show solidarity through their clothes. Optimistic and meaningful slogans, such as ‘Inspiring Young Mind’ and ‘Positive Vibes Only’, will bring a dose of empowerment and empathy to their casual wear.
Fashion with Blues
Denim has once again proved its versatility, appearing in the summer collection. Washed blue jeans are always in style. Colored denim jacket or vest with distressed or embellished soft denim is a great way to add a pop of color to a kid’s look. Jeans have a high degree of compatibility with T-shirts and shirts. Knit denim is becoming a thing this year and competing with the regular denim.
Lightweight denim is the choice to wear (0-4 years) this coming summer season. Dungaree with knit tops, fancy & wide-leg trousers, baggy, romper, skirt, cargo pants, decorative frilled tops are all big winners this year.
Outwear and jackets
Nordic kids prefer heavy weighted padded jackets while others like to wear a light jumpsuit, coats, and hoodies.