Kids clothing saw a huge jump in sales at both physical and online stores over the past ten days, as parents scrambled to replace wardrobe for infants and toddlers who outgrew their garments during nearly two months of lockdown.
Companies including Arvind Fashions, Flipkart, Amazon, Madura Fashion & Lifestyle, Puma, Myntra, Bestseller India and Snapdeal have seen sales from the segment nearly treble, making them one of the top sellers since the last phase of relaxation in lockdown rules.
“Children outgrow clothes quickly. There was a pent-up demand noted in parents who were looking to shop for their children before the lockdown began,” said J Suresh, the chief executive at Arvind Fashions that runs brands such as The Children’s Place.
Stores at malls and high streets have not been allowed to operate since late March, which has led to online marketplaces Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and Myntra seeing an immediate spike with newborn clothing trending on top. “Compared to the initial lockdown period, we witnessed a two-time spike for newborn baby clothes and boys’ shorts,” Flipkart Fashion vice president Nishit Garg said.
For Myntra, kids-wear sales have jumped three times the average before lockdown. Within the kids segment, infant wear was the most sought after. Arun Sirdeshmukh, the business head at Amazon Fashion, said the demand for maternity and newborn wear surged with online retail opening earlier this week.
The average bill value nearly doubled too, as buyers prioritised kids’ needs and could have loaded pantry due to uncertainty in complete relaxation. “Walking shoes for infants clocked high demand besides summer garments,” said a Snapdeal spokesperson.
The children wear market for ages 0-14 years is projected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 17.9% from 2018 to 2023, according to Euromonitor India. The market research firm expects the segment to grow faster than the dominant menswear and womenswear categories, which are projected to expand 14.6% and 12.6%, respectively.
Sportswear brand Puma saw kids wear contribution double to 8% in the last ten days. “Children aged 8-12 years, who wear school uniforms for most part of the week, shopped for athleisure wear. Family workouts to keep kids engaged increased demand for performance wear,” said Abhishek Ganguly, the general manager of Puma India and Southeast Asia.
Brands are also tweaking their marketing strategy to reach and stay relevant for the little customers. “Birthday parties, both missed and upcoming ones, helped double kids merchandise contribution at Allen Solly junior post-Covid, boosted by video shopping feature,” said Vishak Kumar, CEO, Madura Fashion & Lifestyle.