The Economics of Growing Kids Wear Retail Business in India


Kidswear Garment business is one of the quickest developing Categories in the apparel segment and rapidly heading upwards.

Until a couple of years ago, only “new Parents” considered children’s garments and footwear as a user need. There was a keen desire to dress their children elegantly however no dedicated range of brands available across the market.

Since the growth in the number of Kids branded segments, post major mainstream fashion brands like Madura Brands, W, UCB, Pepe, Puma, Adidas, USPOLO, Arvind Brands, etc., the very much gap in the segment has been taken care of.

Now there is a kind of trend with almost every mainstream brand to have a kids’ portfolio as brands have started looking at it as one the major profit center.

By offering shoppers the most recent patterns in less tried categories like kids’ collection, brands have made a category that never existed before to choose from.

The last 5-6 years, in particular, have recorded healthy growth in kids wear mainly because the disposable income in upper-middle-class has grown significantly.


The Growth Drivers for Kids Wear business

As per Barclays, a leading UK based bank, kids’ fashion in India overseen an overwhelming 29.2per cent growth rate to reach $5.5Bn in 2018 and is predicted to surge to $14Bn by 2022.

The rise in Disposable Income – Improving financial conditions in recent years for the upper-middle-class

Market Gap – For many apparel brands & retailers, the men’s and women’s clothing market is soaked, and a clear cut gap is overseen by them to catch and enhance top-line with considerable profits.

Information Technology – Thanks to the smart phone revolution, Today’s well-informed kids, due to the amplified reach of media in all homes, turn out to be very demanding. They have gradually started taking part in buying choices and now chooses what brand to wear.

Fashion Seeker Customers – Guardians, especially moms, are profoundly optimistic and need to dress their children in stylish head-to-toe stock with value for money & reasonable within reach brands.

Age-wise fashion Statement Choice– Demand by parents to go for age wise fashion statements, parents now started dressing their kids starting with infant fashion to teen preferences.

Strong Focus on Local demand – Brands start attempting deep into parents’ desire as a consumer for their kids. Parents these days are keen and prepared to shop and spend as brands now understand and serve their unseen requirements related to kids’ fashion. Integration of the local Indian taste, colors, and comfort in offerings even by international fashion labels like UCB, RL, Tommy H, Ck, etc.

More variants & Options to Choose from – Brands started focusing the demand for kids to wear sales profoundly. The articles collection each season is quite profound and in parallel to the mainstream Men’s and women’s fashion collection.

The GenX Culture – The growing consciousness among Teens about fashion and their active contribution to their dressing selections have pushed this amendment and have wide-open the true potential of the kidswear market.

Emerged as All-Season Category – Spending on kid’s wear fashion is not limited only to festival season or particular occasions such as birthdays, etc., but has become more frequent these days extending to regular wears, party wear, Holiday or leisure wears, Night wears, winter wear, summer wear, etc. The trend of buying kids’ clothing is as good as shopping for adults.

Character licensing – Character licensing is another constructive drive to the already growing kids wear sector in India. E.g. Retail brands offer merchandise with Disney characters and are at the front of their kids wear assortment.


Age Group & Gender contribution

The major age group which contributes most to branded kids wear sales is between the 4-10 years. The ration between ‘Boys & Girls’ is almost 60% & 40% respectively. Boys category seems on the higher side as they have more premium high ticket size preferred ‘sub-categories’ to play with like Denim and winter wear collection.


Market Expansion to Tier-II & Tier-III cities

The major boost for branded apparel players is the introduction of smaller cities market to their reach. The upcountry market is a growth driver for may branded players for almost a decade now and with Kidswear category addition the real lifetime shopping value of each family is developing multifold now.

Certain Kids brand labels manufacture and design their pricing strategy keeping in mind these small markets only as the volume is huge and cost per pcs is less due to economy of scale. Consumers from these lesser-known cities from India collectively shop more than even metro cities, especially during the festive season.


Future of Kids Wear Clothing Business – It is Up-and-coming

Coming the time there will be more focus on this category by each brand given the fact that parents in the coming time will be more quality and fashion-conscious. Just about 29 percent of the nation’s complete population involves kids below the age of 0 to 14 years, a reality that has strengthened various brands to enter the category share and make most out of this wonderful market opportunity.

10 years back fashion trends used to come a slight late to India, as it took about a year or so for a trend to reach India, but now, it is completely different from a globalized market place; it simply takes as less as a week or maximum a month. With each season passing on brands becoming more resilient towards this category and wanted to have maximum share in the wardrobe.


Major Channels for retailers

Like for any market place, Major brand even in kidswear category is now available and eager to increase the retail space share in all channels such as:

  • Exclusive Retail – EBO
  • Franchise store opportunity
  • Multi Brand doors (MBO) – Brands give stocks via distributors here.
  • E-commerce market place
  • Dedicated Departmental Stores (Big Size Stores)
  • Shop in Shop (SIS) Models – MBO counters only

Name a market place and you will get kidswear brands penetrated. Established MBO “Family stores” (clothing shops) counter started having dedicated floor for kids wear category now as they also have understood the importance of add on sale which this particular category can give or add.

Kidswear has drawn in some of the retailers’ consideration in the past years who have spent enough time in the market and seen the clothing business market very closely. The very retailers are quite hopeful full with potential this category has to deliver in the coming days giving the growing demand in choices and sales trends.

In any case, the key task is to understand and keeping a check at the tones of consumer behavior in kids wear retailing and advantages of value for money pricing.

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