Babies’ and Children’s Clothing Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2019
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the domestic babies’ and children’s clothing market, and has found out the market size, the trends by products, and the trends by sales channel.
Estimated size of the babies’ and children’s clothing market in FY2017 stayed almost flat, with 100.2% growth year-on-year, attaining 917,800 million yen. Since the increase seen in FY2013, the market has fluctuated only slightly, resulting in the transition to stay flat. The declining birthrate and a downturn in consumer confidence, due to the consumption tax hike and the stagnation in real wages, both influenced the market growth to slightly decrease in FY2015 and FY2016, remaining flat in FY2017. Factors that contribute to stopping the major scale down despite the low birthrate are an increase in the amount spent on each child, and the good sales performance at the specialty store chains and the casual clothing stores.
Trends by Products in Babies’ and Children’s Clothing
In recent years, as the family-oriented lifestyle becomes the mainstream, the consumer tends to choose babies’ and children’s clothing that are in similar taste to the adult’s clothing. This is especially true in the toddlers’ clothing, for it is easier to reflect the parent’s preferences. As a result, the fashion brands for adults are expanding their businesses into the children’s clothing, while some children’s brands began producing the clothing for adults. Some companies are leveraging their business through brand refreshing, restructuring, and consolidating, for developing the new market.
To distinguish from the competitors, the babies’ and children’s specialty store chains are developing their original items and private brand products, which focus on “safeness”, “reassurance”, “high quality”, “high functional”, and “high sensitivity”. However not all items in the store are being altered by the private brand products, as some items are not seen as suited for the private brands. Balancing the items of the private brand with the national brand within the product portfolio is important. Complete replacement of the merchandise to the private brand products is not seen in the market.
In addition, although the trend of low-pricing continues, efforts are made in sales to propose the mix of low- and high-price products, such as the high-priced outer wear with low-priced item like pants, for the latter requires rapid replacement due to child’s physical growth.
With less than a million births for consecutive 3 years up to FY2018, the decline in the birth rate is likely to continue. However, the outlook on babies’ and children’s clothing market in FY2018 is expected to stay flat, with 100.2% growth year-on-year, estimated to attain 920,000 million yen.
Market polarization is proceeding: While the major enterprises are in the trend of increasing their revenue, many other companies are still facing predicament, due to the soaring personnel expenses in China and the movement towards the depreciation of the yen.
In recent years, the total amount spent per child is increasing. However, as the consumption is increasing in various fields such as learning, smart phones, games, toys and leisure, the range of categories in children’s lifestyle market is expanding.
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