7.3 billion euros were spent on baby and children’s equipment in Germany last year. This means that this market grew only slightly by 50 million euros. Overall, Germans spend less per child.

The latest study by IFH Cologne in cooperation with BBE Handelsberatung shows what many retailers feel in their tills in black and white. Last year, the market for baby and children’s equipment grew only weakly. Parents, relatives and acquaintances spent a total of 7.3 billion euros on equipment in the zero to twelve year age group in 2018. This means that the volume in this market has risen only minimally by 0.6 percent within one year. This is a significant decline in growth compared to previous years.

After all, the average growth in the years 2012 to 2016 was still 2.5 percent per year. The trend was particularly weak in the apparel segment. By contrast, there was a slight increase of 1.3 percent in classic hardware. IFH market expert Hansjürgen Heinick: “The declining growth momentum since 2014 is primarily the result of the recent reluctance of the target group to spend. On the other hand, an increased number of children had a stabilising effect on the market”.

High price pressure determines the market

Many parents are increasingly price-conscious when shopping. Internet and online trade make comparisons easy. In addition, the large number of suppliers and the different forms of distribution are increasing price pressure in the market for baby and children’s equipment. Expenditure per child therefore fell from around 760 euros in 2017 to 750 euros in 2018.

Peter Frank, Senior Consultant at BBE Handelsberatung: “Buyers of baby and children’s equipment are paying more attention to prices and are tending towards more attractively priced forms of distribution, which is also having an impact on specialist retailers. Communication, above all digital visibility, is playing an increasingly important role in this context. This is the only way for suppliers to hold their own against the big competition. The specific specialist trade with baby and children’s equipment in particular is feeling the developments in the market and has recently shrunk by 0.8 percentage points. The child-specific distribution channels are suffering above all from the weakness of smaller specialty stores and the increasing competitive pressure from large chain stores.

Pure players in particular benefit

The market for baby and children’s equipment is dominated by non-children-specific clothing retailers and clothing chain stores. At more than 20 percent, they accounted for the largest share of sales. The “other suppliers” take second place. These are other specialist trade sectors such as furniture, leather goods or bedding specialist trade with other suppliers such as Tchibo and Co. Internet pure players are becoming ever larger. They now have a market share of more than ten percent.

In any case, there is no way around online trading in the market for baby and children’s equipment. More than a quarter of all sales are accounted for by the Internet business. According to the market study, the relevant online retailers include specialists such as babymarkt.de and windeln.de as well as Amazon and Zalando. It has also been proven that it is worthwhile for stationary retailers to enter the online business. Since 2016, the market shares in this segment have also grown steadily.


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Link: The joint study “Branchenfokus Baby- und Kinderausstattung” by IFH Köln and BBE Handelsberatung GmbH provides current market data.

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