Economy

Lockdown 4.0: Parents stock up on kidswear with easing of norms

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on May 29, 2020

Kidswear has emerged one of the key product categories that have seen spike in demand in the past few days   -  THE HINDU

A Delhi-based couple blessed with a newborn in April had a harrowing time. With the baby's birth coinciding with the unexpected nationwide lockdown, they had to resort to borrowing clothes from friends. No wonder, as Lockdown 4.0 began with relaxed norms for non-essential stores and e-commerce players, kidswear has emerged as one of the key product categories that have seen spike in demand in the past few days.

Sundeep Chugh, MD & CEO, Benetton India, which has opened its stores in high street areas in green and orange zones, said the company is experiencing a huge spike in demand for kidswear products. “The overall demand and basket-size have both gone up. Weather change, size issues — as kids tend to outgrow their clothes fast — have led to consumers looking for replenishment of light clothes and thus a surge in demand for kidswear,” he said.

Nishit Garg, Vice President - Flipkart Fashion, said: “Searches for dresses for girls and t-shirts for boys, overall, have increased. Compared to the initial lockdown period, we've witnessed a 2X spike for newborn baby clothes and boys' shorts. Product categories like baby girl dresses, baby clothes and kids' shorts have also seen a significant spike in searches on our platform.”

A spokesperson for Paytm Mall said demand for this category is coming in both from metros and smaller towns and cities.

Safer option

Fashion e-commerce company Myntra said it is witnessing "upto 3x surge" in the share of kids’ apparel, prompting it to actively scale up the selection of such products to cater to increase in this demand. Ayyappan Rajagopal, Head of Business at Myntra, said: “Shoppers are also looking at online as an important channel to shop for this category in the present scenario from the perspective of safety. Also kids’ wear is naturally a high repeat category with frequently changing sizes and it does reflect in the way customers shop.”

Though the kidswear category has been one of the fastest growing categories in apparel segment in the past two or three years, consumers’ willingness to shell out money on products for their kids in these challenging times may prove to be the silver lining for some brands.

"From a platform perspective, we are already seeing shifts in buying patterns and a skew towards specific product types within the kids category. There are already a lot of positive indicators in this business for us to believe that spends in this category will only rise,” Rajagopal added.

Despite the new academic year on hold in schools, leading footwear brand Bata India, which has opened more than 800 of its stores, also believes consumers will remain focussed on need-based purchases. In a virtual conference earlier this week, Sandeep Kataria, CEO, Bata India, said: “Right now, we are in revival phase, so consumers are looking at buying products that require replenishment such as buying footwear for children who have outgrown their size or replacing their worn-out shoes."

Published on May 29, 2020

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