Over 120 delegates heard expert speakers from across the supply chain discussing a number of key issues currently impacting the childrenswear sector. The one-day Childrenswear Seminar hosted by Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI) took place in Northamptonshire, UK.
Retailers and brands advised that sizing kids clothing by age is the least reliable way of sizing kidswear. As it turns out height and waist sizes are a better indicator of ‘fit’ than age. The seminar also illustrated that the sales volumes in the segment are down, but value up as grandparents and fathers help out with shopping; and cross shopping retail strategies are paying off as consumers prefer to shop under one roof in supermarkets, department and discount stores.
Julie King, ASBCI Events Director and Head of Fashion and Textiles at De Montfort University chaired the day’s proceedings, which opened with an incisive keynote presentation by Ian Mitchell, Strategic Insight Director with Kantar WorldpanelFashion. Based on research derived from 15,000 consumers Kantar identified that while `shoppers` are currently buying fewer childrenswear items they are spending an average of three per cent more on their purchases. The weak pound he predicted may continue to push up average prices into 2011 but it is still too early to say how this will impact consumer spend.
These findings were presented by an eminent line-up of speakers at the seminar entitled ‘The Childrenswear Challenge – responding to a growing market’. Speakers included Jonty Wilson, SGS UK; Alan Ross, High Street Textile Testing; Sarah Anderson, M&S; David Aykroyd, Aykroyd & Sons; Christopher Schyma, Lectra; Julie King, De Montfort University; and Ian Mitchell, Kantar WorldpanelFashion; David Bell, Assyst Bullmer Human Solutions; Ed Gribbin, Alvanon; Chris Middleton, Eskimosoup.
The seminar was organised in response to requests from the ASBCI’s retail and brand members and is the third in a series of ‘sector specific’ seminars. Formed in 1992, ASBCI plays a key technical role within the garment and textile sectors.