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New C&M report published: Italy Childrenswear market
Childrenswear in Italy - a new market research report on 2014-03-20 11:53:03
Artsana SpA, with its most famous and representative brand of Chicco, maintained its leadership of childrenswear in Italy, holding 11% value share. However, Italian childrenswear remains highly fragmented with top players only holding 39% share. Artsana was founded in 1946 and based its results on its advertising campaigns. As Chicco has such a strong positioning in childrenswear, Artsana is decreasing the amount of money spent on advertising year-on-year, always leading the category. By way of contrast, the competitors investment on advertising was increased by 11% (Pambianco News source). A large gap separates the leader from Imap export SpA which is ranked second with value share of 6%.

Company performance variations from 2010 to 2011 are quite similar and often negative due to the economic crisis that also affected childrenswear. Benetton Group SpAs performance is remarkable given the very difficult economic situation in the Mediterranean area, and maybe it is due to the huge relevance of Benetton in Italy. The importance of boys and girls clothing for Benetton is reflected on the attention given to them for the new campaign for childrenswear 2012 titled Im unique. The public selection of two boys and two girls, testimonials for the new campaign, also acted as a beneficial advertisement to Benetton.

Birth rates in Italy are declining year-on-year. In 2010, the Italian birth rate was 9.37 births per 1,000 people and in 2011 there were 9.29 births per 1,000 people. Due to the global financial crisis and the weak economic situation of Italian families, matters could only become worse. If Italians choose to have a baby, they likely give a lot of attention to him or her and this is also reflected in apparel sales habits. Specifically, the segment that showed the most positive trend was baby and toddler wear with an increase in current value sales of 2% in 2011. Moreover, parents are still looking for good-quality products for their children but try to save money if they can. This does not happen for a newborn, where parents do not like to forsake the most famous brands even if more expensive.

Due to the amount of special offers, childrenswear marginally grew in volume terms. In particular, as long as unit prices lower, Italians will continue to buy boys and girls clothing. In volume terms, sales increased by 3%, 2%, and 1% respectively for baby and toddler wear, boys clothing, and girls clothing. It is not surprising that baby and toddler wear increased by volume because it has a positive trend also in value terms. However, boys and girls clothing segments increased by volume, but declined in current value terms, indicating that families are only switching to cheaper products and are concerned about a fair quality-price ratio.

Childrenswear is predicted to decrease by a 2% constant value CAGR. However, a positive trend will continue to be witnessed in volume terms because of the decline in unit prices and the amount of discounts and special offers available in order to attract consumers.

Due to the economic and political crisis of 2011, Italy should renew its habits in order to avoid an even worse situation for the future. People will become more price-conscious and will be looking for good-quality products for a lower price. The forecast period will also see mid-low brands performing better than premium brands, mainly because, in the years that follow the economic crisis, low-income consumers as well as the more affluent will purchase cheaper products for their children. However, retailers will continue to open multi-brand shops, in particular international ones such as H&M and Zara.

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