The overall market of clothes in China and especially market of children’s wear is one of the market with the highest potential for development in China. The demand for children’s wear are continuously increasing. It is forecasted by China consultants that the yearly increasing rate will be 8% in future.
Based on the material of population check, there are 33% people (0.4 billion) in China are below 18 years old. 25% (0.3 billion) are below 16 years old. 17% (more than 0.2 billion) are below 14 years old. 34% of them are the only children of their family.
In order to familiar with the manufacturers’ attitude toward children’s wear in China, a market research has been conducted.
Qualitative interview on Chinese market
Firstly, the Walt Disney Co. gave an opportunity for interview. Disney already has the category of casual wear and party clothes. Cartoon characters are their major themes and highlights. The creative designer of Disney said they would search inspiration from watching the Disney’s cartoon characters in their movies. The most important thing they think that children’s wear in China should be comfortable, practicable and lovely.
Also an interview was conducted with Pooh. They produce casual wear for children. The Japanese manager thinks children’s wear is a potential market, but manufacturers must think more about product’s durability and feasibility. If parents spend RMB 200-300 to buy clothes for their children, they do not want these clothes could only be worn for several times.
General manger of Wan Tian Fashion Co. talked about his opinion about the children’s wear in the interview. Since they had experiences in designing and manufacturing children’s wear, he thought that comfort is the most important criteria to design children’s wear. The market of children’s wear is increasing and has a good perspective. It still needs a certain period to keep pace with that of Europe.
Consumer survey in Shanghai
In order to explore the consumers’ behavior toward children’s wear in China, it was conducted market research in Shanghai. A consumer survey was conducted to collect data; parents especially mothers would be the main target. There were 102 respondents drawn from the survey. The respondents were selected from the main commercial road. The main commercial roads include: Nanjing Road, Huaihai Road, Sichuan North Road. There are about nine department stores and chain stores, which sell children’s wear in Nanjing Road, six in Huaihai road and ten in Sichuan North Road.
Information Searching Process
- Window Display
- Fashion Magazine
- Ads on Newspaper
- Ads on TV
- Family of Friends
There are many factors affecting this market including the changing preference of children, family influence on buying decision, mass media influences, different marketing activities and so on.When asked choosing clothes to children, which kind of relevant information they would search most, 84.31% of them would collect information by shopping and 12.75% of them did so through window display of the retail shop. So marketers could enrich the window display in order to attract those parents. And to many parents, buying children’s wear is not a high involvement process at all.
Consumer Decision-making Process
When respondents were asked if they would let their children gave opinions during purchasing, 81.37% chose “yes”, and 18.63% would not. Further analysis found that 60.58% of those 18.63% had children below 3 years old. So there are above 80% of respondents said their children would affect their decision on decision-making. This implied that marketers should not only target those parents but also target children as they would affect parents’ purchase decision.
From the tables in the left, it can be seen that the children involve more in purchasing their clothes progressively with their growth. Also, parents are much concerning their children’s opinion in buying clothes for them.
Consumers’ Attitude toward Children’s Wear
With the development of economics and increase in personal education, more and more parents in Shanghai want to present their style through their children’s clothes and children could be cultivated to know about fashion from their childhood. On the other hand, nowadays the product knowledge of consumers is getting higher and the availability of information about the present fashion market is more available. Therefore, giving more information about the products becomes a responsibility of manufacturers and markets. Available information would increase the consistency of attitude, which would help to build up brand loyalty. And also the availability of information would enhance consumers’ confidence to buy. (Howard, 1994) From thus marketers should provide enough information to consumers.
Occasions of Buying Children’s Wear
China consumption landscape is built with many period of high-increase of purchase, many commercial events which are very popular and very profitable for brands. Children’s wear are very impacted by these period. For instance, Chinese new year is traditionnally a chance to buy a full range of new clothes for the children, to start the new year in a new fresh dress. Surprisingly, while Christmas is still not very important in China, even if we assume it’s influence is growing in China’s culture, the International Children’s day is another day which shows strong increase in children’s wear purchase in China.
- Children’s birthday
- Chinese New Year
- Parties with relatives or friends
- June 1st the International Children’s Day