June 7, 2024

The “low cost” prevails in the children's sector

The “low cost” is imposed in the Spanish children’s sector and already accounts for 30.4% of sales in 2023, compared to 22.4% the year before the pandemic. With a birth rate of 1.19 children, Spain is at the bottom of world population growth. A factor that is having a very negative influence on sales of fashion and children’s products. The ten main operators by sales have lost market share, going from 43% in 2019 to 41.6% last year. Fashion chains with low prices are gaining ground over specialized chains and multi-brand commerce.

“Lowcost” is imposed in the fashionable children’s sector since the pandemic. Establishments such as Lefties, Pepco, Primark or H&M, among others, continue to gain market share according to data from Kantar Worldpanel. The economy has not favored the demographics in Spain, which is at the bottom of births in the world. In the clothing segment alone, children’s fashion has registered a decrease of -5.8% in volume -3.3% in value in 2023.

“Lowcost” rebound

During the 10th Meeting of ASEPRI (Association of Children’s Products), Rosa Pilar López, fashion director of Kantar Worldpanel, offered an overview of the evolution of the children’s fashion sector in Spain. With the constant drop in the birth rate and the increase in inflation, low-price fashion establishments have rebounded. According to the data, “lowcost” has gained 8 percentage points, going from 22.4% in 2019 to 30.4% last year. Furthermore, 30% of children’s fashion sales are made in this type of operators, compared to 20% in adult fashion.

The ten main children’s fashion sales operators have gone from 41.6% of sales before the pandemic to 41.6% in 2023 . El Corte Inglés continues to lead the ranking, despite having lost share. Next are Primark, Zara, Decathlon, Carrefour, H&M, Amazon, Lefties, Sprinter and Kiabi. As Rosa Pilar López commented, “most retailers work well in children’s fashion. We must be very attentive to new operators since they have a lot of growth potential.”

Among all these operators, those that have grown the most since 2019 are Amazon, Lefities and Sprinter. Primark remains stable, while Decathlon falls slightly. The rest lose share in sales compared to 2019. Outlets also gain share , because “the consumer wants a brand, but at a low price,” López pointed out.

In fact, chains like Pepco have 2 million consumers in Spain, in just two years since their introduction. Currently there are 225 establishments.

Supers and multi-brand down

Supermarkets, multi-brand stores and specialized chains have lost share in children’s fashion sales. It is the outlets and the rest of the channels that benefit more significantly than in the fashion sector in general. In the clothing segment alone, the children’s sector has decreased by -3.3% in value and -5.8% in volume because there are fewer and fewer children.

In fact, in 2023 there were 322,000 births in Spain, of which 23% were foreigners. This figure is the same as that recorded after the Civil War.

Spanish women have their first child at the average age of 38. Furthermore, 55% of mothers are over 45 years old. A factor that determines the birth of a second child. All these data prove that Spain is at the bottom of the birth rate, which explains the loss of sales in the children’s sector, which today accounts for 9.7% of fashion sales in Spain.

Sales by product type

Clothing is the best-selling product category, with 70%; Footwear accounts for 27% and accessories, which rise by 8.6% in 2023, represent 3%. Sales of clothing and footwear decreased by 3.5% and 3.9%, respectively, in 2023.

Regarding purchases by age, 40% of the volume is focused on children from 0 to 5 years old and 27% on those from 6 to 9 years old. 33% of spending occurs in the age group of 10 to 14 years.

In terms of value, adolescents account for 43% of sales, followed by those under six years of age, with 33%, and 26% among children aged 6 to 9.

Finally, according to Kantar Worldpanel, physical purchases are also recovering in the children’s channel, although it fell by -5.1%, compared to an increase of 4.7% in the online channel. The phenomenon of multichannel purchasing is also consolidated in this sector.