Kidswear: all you need to know to stay competitive

Whether fashion retailers want to foster their kids’ collections or diversity their offerings to include more kidswear items, Retviews has you covered with what fashion retailers need to know about kids’ fashion today. 

Key takeaways

• Kidswear focuses more on girls’ fashion than on boys’ — regardless of age bracket.

• Retailers offer more sustainable fashion options for children than they do for adults.

• Boys’ clothing is more affordable than girls’, and the most-frequent price for girls’ clothing sometimes approaches the most-frequent price for women’s clothes. 

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The children of today are the consumers of tomorrow. With the Easter season right around the corner, retailer communications focus on children’s collections ahead of the back-to-school sales peak. 


Battle of sex in kidswear: girls win over boys

According to individual country census reports, in 2020, there were slightly more men than women globally — meaning potentially more men interested in buying clothes.

Despite this data, fashion retailers focus more on women than men, and the same formula is applied to children. From babyhood to preteen age, girls account for more of business and assortment shares than boys do.


Among the top five retailers, only C&A applies a gender-equal assortment for children. ZaraUniqloH&M, and Mango have dedicated between 55-60% of their kids’ assortment solely to girls. 

One might suggest that retailers aiming to diversify their product offerings and develop a children’s collection would be safer to bet on girls’ clothing. However, if brands want to stand out from the crowd and take advantage of a niche opportunity, they might choose to focus on boys. 


Sustainability matters for young parents 

Sustainability is a hot topic in the fashion industry. Since the Rana Plaza disaster, the public has been focused on responsibility among fashion retailers. It is pushing for brands to be more sustainable when it comes to production and distribution. 


With growing interest from consumers to invest more in clothes that have less impact on the environment, retailers know where to leverage. 

With growing demand from young parents about the future of the planet, fashion retailers capitalize on that need and offer more sustainable garments for children than for adults. 


It is noteworthy that Mango, which has recently started offering sustainable collections to its customers, has no sustainable articles in its children’s collection. Is it because kidswear and menswear only account for 18% of its business share, and the brand wants to focus more on more profitable consumer groups? 


Clothing aimed at boys is still more affordable than girlswear

While menswear is generally more expensive than offerings geared toward women, the opposite is true for the children’s category. 

Kidswear graph - mid boy - price indicator

The most-frequent price of girls’ clothing is higher than the most-frequent boyswear price. All top five retailers agree on a most-frequent price for boys (€9,99), while this price varies widely for girls’ clothing. 

Kidswear graph - mid girl - price indicator

This strategy probably comes from the fact that retailers want to leverage the more-popular clothing (girlswear) as much as possible. Still, what could justify such a difference between girlswear and boyswear? Especially when we see that most-frequent prices are close to adults’ most-frequent prices.


How can retailers tackle the kidswear market?

The children’s clothing market is a tricky one — mainly due to its wide range of offerings in sizing, different ages, and the required retail space. When kidswear is not the brand’s primary focus, it becomes trickier to understand just where to focus and invest. 

One thing is for sure —  girlswear will continue to be the primary focus in terms of kidswear offerings. It follows that brands looking for opportunities to stand out could take advantage of this and direct their focus to boys’ clothing. 

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