How (AAPN Member) Carter’s Became a Staple of Just About Every Child’s Wardrobe

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This is a terrific analysis of Carter's, from whom we deeply enjoy the leadership of Lynsey Jones on our Board of Directors. 

Billion-dollar baby: How Carter’s became a staple of just about every child’s wardrobe
Washington Post: July 26

More than 1,700 children’s stores have closed in the past year, including some of the biggest names in the business. Babies R Us is gone, as are Gymboree and Janie and Jack stores. The Children’s Place is in the process of shutting 300 stores.

And then there is Carter’s.

The brand has built a multibillion-dollar empire on $5 bodysuits and $8 pajamas, taking in nearly one-quarter of all baby clothes sales in the United States. Revenue has grown for 30 consecutive years, even as the nation’s birthrate has fallen to 30-year lows. And while competitors are filing for bankruptcy, Carter’s is opening stores and expanding into new markets.

Ninety percent of millennial parents — and 80 percent of baby boomer grandparents — have shopped at Carter’s in the past year, according to market research firm Kantar. The company has exclusive lines at (AAPN Members) Walmart, Target and Amazon, and also sells its clothing at department stores, high-end malls and 1,060 of its own stores and outlets. Analysts say the brand is as popular among low-income shoppers as it is among high earners.

"Carter’s success has become a self-perpetuating machine,” said Steven Marotta, an apparel analyst at C.L. King & Associates. “The strength of the brand is simply unparalleled, not just across baby apparel but the entire apparel universe.” Read More