The Indian retail market for children’s apparel is estimated at INR 26,300 Cr with 15.4 percent share of the total apparel market. Registering a healthy annual growth rate of 17 per cent the children’s apparel retail is expected to touch INR 30,800 Cr this fiscal according to a report by Images Retail Intelligence Services (IRIS).
Revealing key findings of IRIS Retail Report titled ‘Children’s Apparel and Footwear Market in India’ set to release at the India Retail Forum on 21st September, Vivek Kumar, Director, IRIS Retail, says, “With rise in double-income families, children becoming influencers in purchase decisions, and working mothers spending more on kids, the needs of parents and children’s have increased considerably, which has translated into the formation of micro-segments within children’s category. Affluent parents demand the best for their children, right from high quality clothes and footwear to toys and accessories. With increasing awareness of brands and niche categories like infant, children’s formal & ethnic wear, casual wear, etc built at store level, children’s market has plenty of headroom for expansion and thus presents a massive opportunity a for retailers.”
The organized market with brands and structured retail in children’s apparel (INR 3000 Cr) is mere 5.3 percent of the overall organized apparel market. However, this market is growing at an estimated 24-25 percent, which makes it a significant and exciting opportunity. Given the current demand and improved supplies, by 2011-12, the organized children’s wear segment is expected to reach INR 3700-3800 Cr. The growth in the organized sectors can be attributed to the rapid expansion of domestic players and influx of new domestic and international players.
Lilliput, Gini & Jony, Catmoss and Benetton Kids account for nearly 2/5th of the total organized children’s apparel market. Lilliput is the largest player at an estimated market share of 14.3 percent followed by Gini & Jony at 11percent and Catmoss at 7 percent. Most of this market is in the medium-premium (MRP Rs. 300-600, Rs 600-1000) segments in terms of pricing with Benetton and Gini & Jony being more premium vs. Catmoss and Lilliput which are more medium range in their pricing.
Other key highlights in organized children’s apparel retail are:
- Influx of international brands in the children’s segment – Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Zara Kids, Benetton Kids, Disney etc. Mothercare, Chicco, Burberry Kids, Monalisa, Kidology and Mom &Me are other relatively new entrants in the category and are steadily increasing their presence nationally.
- Increased dedicated retail space for children’s merchandise in shopping centers and large format stores. The top two players boost of 560,000 sq. ft. and 260,000 sq ft. of retail space respectively.
- Organized players are also exploring distribution channels together with EBOs and large format stores, which is in turn increasing penetration in cities beyond tier I via traditional MBOs.
- In the organized segment though the boys’ fashion commands 3/5th share at present, the trend clearly indicates that the ratio for boys to girls would equalize in the next 5-7 years.
- Price followed by variety remain the two most important factors driving this market and thus need to be the two most critical areas of concentration for any brand.
CHILDREN’S FOOTWEAR MARKET
The report also sizes up the children’s footwear market at INR 3490 Cr, growing at 10 per cent. The branded footwear market estimated at INR 550 Cr, is expected to grow at a healthier 20-22 per cent, in sync with growth in the overall organized footwear market. This growth can be attributed to:
- Improved focus in the segment by existing organized footwear players such as Bata, Liberty, Relaxo, Metro shoes etc.
- Foray of international players in the segment such as Crocs, Reebok Junior, Lotto etc.
- Increased imports from China in the segment
- Increased contribution of footwear of major children’s brands’ turnovers.
- The medium price band of Rs. 200-500 contributes to 65 per cent share, indicating high price sensitivity in the market.
Talking about the methodology for this exclusive research Vivek Kumar says that the study involves secondary search and forty interactions with key brands, retailers and independent experts in the children’s apparel & footwear industry. “The report is designed as a guide for all incumbent brands, retailers, manufacturers as well as prospective investors and entrants on the complexities, and opportunities contained in the children’s fashion retail business in India”, he concludes.