How the #MommyandMe Trend Can Bolster Women’s Retail
This past year was not an easy one for retail, but savvy store owners are creating covetable destinations chockful of hand-picked pieces shoppers can’t leave without. With that mindset, the future is looking bright in 2018, and fashion retailers are delving into new markets that can broaden their consumer base, bolster sales and house that must-have item. According to Emily Beckman, editor of children’s industry magazine Earnshaw’s, kids are a smart bet.
“The global market for childrenswear is rumored to experience healthy growth in the coming decade driven by improving economies in Asia and the Middle East, the increased exposure of children to media (and the ensuing interest in material goods), the greater role of children in purchasing decisions and the widening range of luxury clothing brands available for purchase,” she explains, adding that couture labels like Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs are driving the takedown, or “mini me” trend.
Children's Club's Shawn Hazan confirms that luxury is a smart entry point. In fact, this February UBM Fashion is looking to evolve the presentation within the show's community. By working with European Sales agents and international fashion houses, Children's Club is positioned to be a crucial marketplace for designer childrenswear. "Luxury products are synonomous with quality and often provide a draw at the consumer level," Hazan adds.
The mini me angle, Beckman says, is an easy way for women’s apparel retailers to enter the children’s market. “Partly an attempt to create lifelong customers, designers are appealing to the inherent desire of parents and their children to want to dress alike.” Not convinced? Beckman says to check out #mommyandme on Instagram, which showcases more than 2 million posts. With that in mind, UBM Fashion is positioning increased synergy between Children's Club and Coterie so that all fashion retailers can further take advantage of the mini-me shopping experience. "It’s about a women’s retailer bringing in a children’s grouping from a gifting angle," offers Hazan. "Plus, incorporating children’s offerings creates an opportunity to attract a longer shelf life of your consumer by diversifying the store’s age range with a specialty experience."
“A mother simply can’t resist an adorable outfit for her little one—especially when she can take part in the fun,” Beckman notes. “It’s a trend that practically sells itself!” Beckman advises staying away from anything too matchy-matchy and instead to focus on presenting looks that complement one another. The trend among Millennial moms, she says, is for sophisticated outfits that will look great on Instagram.
The same goes for merchandising. “Keep it simple and sophisticated,” Beckman says. Get the clothes on a mannequin and let the consumer see how irresistible the outfits look paired together. For women’s retailers who may balk at delving into children’s sizing, playful accessories can be a bestselling alternative. “Hair accessories and purses/backpacks are fun accessories to stock if you want to capitalize on the mommy-and-me trend,” she offers. “A large hair bow that borrows from the hue of Mom’s clothes can be an adorable coordinating statement for a mommy-and-me look.”
Purses can be another point of entry, as they are easily sized down from mom’s. Beckman cautions not to get hung up on functionality with kids’ bags, however, as they’re only designed to hold a Chapstick and some change. Instead, focus on cute designs like friendly animals, emojis and glitter. Current must-haves in kids’, she adds, include mini backpacks, statement sunglasses and everything athleisure. “Children are not going to give up joggers and leggings anytime soon, so be sure to stock up,” she says.
You can shop children's offerings at NY Women's & Children's, Feb 25-28 in NYC at Children's Club.
Children's Club is an international exhibition featuring every category of children's clothing from newborn to age 12, layette items, fashion accessories, footwear, toys and gifts. Exhibiting brands reflect an eclectic base of established collections and new designers bursting onto the scene. Children's Club is an excellent opportunity to be seen by the medium to better children's specialty retailers and boutiques.