Kids wear in upward swing

No kidding. The market for children's apparel is flourishing when most other categories have been sluggish. According to the industry reports it is on the upward swing. Read on to know more…

The kids apparel market is divided into organised and unorganised segment which exceeds Rs 17,000 crore, of which Rs3,000 – 4,000 crore is constituted by branded kids wear. The kids wear market is growing at the rate of 10 per cent per annum, which makes it one of the fastest growing markets. 

The unorganised players have always dominated the market. Cheap manufacturing, high volumes and offering myriad of styles, these players have had an upper hand in the industry. Today bigger companies have started venturing into this market. The scenario is changing and consumer awareness towards branded kids wear has definitely grown- thanks to the world being a global village. Kids along with the parents are becoming extremely brand and quality conscious paving the way for the industry to become more organised.  

Growth factors
Style is an aspect, which has become very important, as children nowdays are aware what is in vogue and what is not. Another reason why the kids wear in the branded segment is fast growing is because of higher disposable incomes and changing lifestyles. Both in India and abroad, with development in technology, the world is becoming increasingly smaller by the day. Kids today belong to the screenage and thus are more aware of the latest trends and fashion. Children being vulnerable are easily influenced by advertisements on television and this activates "pester power", i.e. where the children harass their parents to purchase products they want. With the increase in number of working couples and their respective disposable incomes, the child's pester power becomes inversely proportionate to the time available with parents. These factors are the major drivers in the growth of the Kids wear segment, be it in India, or abroad. Heena Nayar, Director, Woolways India Ltd says, “Kids wear is not as focused upon as it should be and Unikid hopes to change that.” With so many contributing factors this industry is on the rise.  

Innovative strategies
Marketing for every section and category of product varies from the other. When it comes to marketing for kids wear, emphasis is given on factors that are related directly to children and are eye catching for them. Association with Bollywood is a good technique, which sells like hot cakes. Bollywood has a great impact on everyone in the country and partnering with a movie or a star sure works for a brand. Seeing stars wear clothes that are available in the market prompts children to buy the same. Lilliput had sponsored clothes for the movie Bhootnath. Walt Disney’s retail outlets around the world are being turned into miniature theme parks while we see that the brand Zapp! has introduced igloo-shaped trial rooms. Character licensing is a strategy that is on an upswing lately which is helping the retailers rake in more sales. More and more tie-ups are coming to light in this respect. Kids Media India (KMI), a subsidiary of Dubai-based Spacetoon Media Group has entered into partnership with Paws Incorporated, Indiana US to represent Licensing, Advertising, and Publishing Rights for the renowned cartoon character Garfield. The rights also include friends of Garfield Odie, Jon, Liz, Arlene, Pooky, and Nermal. Speaking on the alliance, Rajiv Sangari, MD and CEO, Kids Media India, said “We are delighted to be associated with lovable character –Garfield. Kids Media India has always served its clients with the best services. And I am confident that using our expertise, we will be able to help Paws, Inc. reach out to a wider client base across all sections for its licensees.”  

Ramp shows
Ramp shows when spoken of are associated with tall and smart models showcasing collections by various brands and designers. But now we also have kids on the ramp. There are many kids wear brands that are following this trend. Lilliput showcased its exclusive collection at the Kid's Fashion Show held in the capital a few months back. The show witnessed kids' walking the ramp in stylish Lilliput garments. Darsheel Safary the star from 'Taare Zameen Par' and a group of other kids walked the ramp for Catmoss. 

In the times to come
There is still a large part of the market that needs to be tapped which means a lot of opportunities for more players to enter the market. According to the 'Global market review of children's wear - forecasts to 2012', the top ten global markets - the US, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, China, India, Russia and Japan are expected to account for an estimated US$131.5billion in children's apparel retail sales by 2012. There is a lot to look forward to in the kids wear market as it holds immense potential within the country and also across the oceans.

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