As people held off expanding their families, demand for maternity apparel slowed
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) February 17, 2012
Despite carrying relatively nondiscretionary products, the Maternity Wear Stores industry still suffered significant declines in revenue during the recession. As consumer sentiment and per capita disposable income fell in 2008 and 2009, respectively, Americans cut their expenditures. In line with lower incomes and weaker purchasing power, the birthrate in the United States dropped, as many families delayed the addition of new members. With these factors at play, industry operators lost out on revenue during those years. The drastic drops have caused an average revenue decline of 1.4% per year from 2007 to 2012. “As industry players tried to move excess inventories and stimulate store traffic in 2008, they began to offer steep discounts on their maternity apparel,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Nikoleta Panteva. Consumer spending power and desire were still too weak, however, to prop the industry up through its troubled times. As a result, many unsuccessful operators were forced out of the industry.
The Maternity Wear Stores industry is moderately concentrated, with a few major players and a large number of small companies. Over the five years to 2012, the concentration of maternity wear stores has increased. Major players in this industry have numerous retail outlets throughout the United States, while smaller players are generally independently owned and operate on a local level. Although specialty boutiques remain popular among the wealthier demographic market, according to Panteva, “consumers are progressively shifting their maternity wear purchases to supercenters such as Target and Walmart.” Major player Destination Maternity has been growing its distribution of maternity clothing in large discount stores like Kohl's. At the same time, the company has been closing underperforming stand-alone stores. These types of reductions contribute to rising market share concentration in the industry.
While the recession has defined the industry's operating environment for much of the five-year period to 2012, many companies have started to experience a turnaround in sales and profit. As disposable incomes inch up and consumer sentiment climbs in 2012, aggregate revenue is expected to grow. And IBISWorld projects that this positive trend will continue into the five years to 2017. With the US birthrate expected to grow each year on average, demand for maternity apparel will return. Still, online retailers will remain a threat to brick-and-mortar establishments. With the mounting presence of e-commerce over the past decade, online-only stores have grown in popularity among shoppers. Especially during the recession, when deal-hunting and price comparisons were paramount, e-tailers offered unmatched money savings. While tough economic conditions are abating, online shopping will continue to reign, posing competitive threats to brick-and-mortar maternity wear retailers. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Maternity Wear Stores report in the US industry page.
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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
This industry includes brick-and-mortar retailers of maternity apparel, which is designed to fit the frame of a pregnant woman. Many retailers also undertake sales and administrative activities, such as customer service, advertising and cash handling. Some stores offer basic alteration services on site.
Key External Drivers
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Products & Services
Globalization & Trade
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
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