The results are in: babies are big business! Defying the recession, experts in 2014 estimated that the pushchair sector of the baby and nursery industry as worth a whopping £235 million in the UK alone.
UK spending on buggies, prams and pushchairs alone has risen by 13% in the past few years. At the centre of this is the renaissance of the pushchair and pram, courtesy of the celebrities who buy them and the clever marketing to promote them. With some of the high-end brands costing close to or in excess of the £1,000 mark, it beggars belief that so many parents-to-be are compelled to buy them. Let's take a look at the story...WOMEN ARE HAVING KIDS LATER
"Mothers are older and therefore more affluent when they do finally have children," Sarah Barrett, managing editor of Babycentre.com UK, told the BBC in an online interview a few years ago.
Nowadays women are delaying having children and having fewer of them. The trend is global, with more women in work commanding greater spending power to fuel the baby care market they won't compromise on spending on their little ones.
Trading up to premium baby products has been apparent the world over, as the rising number of older parents are often from dual-income families, while parents in emerging markets have higher purchasing power and are able to afford better quality items.HAPPY MUMMY = HAPPY BABY
The increasing trend of starting a family later means becoming a parent is seen more as a lifestyle choice than a marker of adulthood. Pregnant women and new mothers have therefore become a lucrative group for marketers.
Brands play on the fact consumers make significant changes to their lifestyles, shopping and consumption habits at this stage in their lives. They're willing to spend in order to optimise their chances of having a healthy and happy baby, whether that be in terms of safety and comfort of their home, health and well-being of themselves throughout pregnancy, or making all the relevant preparations for the baby's arrival.FATHERS ARE BEING TARGETED TOO
Dad's-to-be have been targeted too, with an emphasis on the relaxing, comfort-inducing and stress-reducing aspects of baby care products for their partners.
Turning their focus to the male market, brands are introducing products with a more masculine design, a high-tech pull, and an emphasis on ergonomics. For example a pushchair that folds with as little effort as possible or one that has been designed as a jogger allows the father-to-be to assist in the decision-making of one of the key and more expensive of the baby products they'll buy for their child.PREMIUM PRODUCTS & THE CELEBRITY PULL
"A pushchair is no longer something you use to push a child from A to B," says Jo Studholme, owner of the online pushchair review site Pushchair Trader in an interview in 2013. "They’ve become a status symbol."
Celebrity pregnancies are among the largest headline-grabbers and their buying decisions inspire the shopping habits of many mums-to-be. Pregnant celebrities have become important tools for promoting products, from maternity dresses to designer buggies often via social networking websites.
In the same way that a woman would be influenced by celebrity trends when buying a handbag before pregnancy/kids, the 'pramaholic' is snapping up the latest, on-trend brand and model of pushchair they see their fave celeb pushing.
The founder of the designer baby changing bag company, Sugarjack (@sugarjackuk), whose products sell for as much as £350 and resemble stylish ladies' fashion accessories, succinctly told The Times, "Why give up your sense of style when you have a baby?"BUGABOO
Bugaboo, the Dutch pushchair company set up by Max Barenbrug, a designer intent on creating a stylish and ergonomic design that both men and women alike would be proud to push, first hit the UK in 2003 and continues to enjoy meteoric success. Employing 800 staff and selling products in over 50 countries this high-end buggy brand has proven that pushchairs are big business.
Bugaboo is the preferred pushchair of choice for many celebrities, like Elton John, James Corden, Victoria Beckham and none other than the Queen of style herself, Kate Middleton. Bugaboo received a huge boost in 2013 when she announced during her first pregnancy that she had purchased one.KEEPING UP WITH THE CAMBRIDGES
Online shopping experts at Catalogs.com report that infant products now claim a growing share of the luxury goods market, fuelled by the Royal Baby fever and celebrity newborn shopping sprees. They report that the luxury baby market enjoyed a boom of its own in the run-up to and after the birth of Princess Charlotte, and Kate is making the thrifty practice of up-cycling acceptable after recycling the Queen's own pram she used in the 1960s with her own kids for Princess Charlotte's christening on 5th July.OTHER STROLLERS TO THE STARS
Eager to bask in similar successes, more and more state-of-the-art baby companies are emerging, taking the industry and celebrity world by storm with their ergonomic and eco-friendly credentials, high-tech designs and equally high price-tags. Orbit Baby and 4Moms are two of the latest brands to enjoy the perks of celebrity-promotion as pushed by the Kardashians, Halle Berry and Britain's Got Talent judge, Alesha Dixon.AFTER THE CELEBRITY PULL COMES THE PUSH...
As long as babies continue to be born and celebrities continue to roam the earth, pushchairs will continue to be be big business. With high-end brands setting the bar as high as they do, the expense will probably always be a matter of contention but the desire to buy them will probably always be stronger.
But fear not, the second-hand pushchair market is just as sound as the consumers' desire to have what their fave celeb is pushing. So in terms of re-sale the market is crying out for your preloved, designer pushchairs!While Buggy Revival is here to sell you your favourite (used) pushchairs at a snip of the original first-hand price prices, WeBuyYourBuggy is here for all you parents who enjoyed following fashion on behalf of your indifferent infants but wouldn't mind clawing back some of your hard-earned cash after you're little one outgrows it. We aim to buy your used buggies, prams and pushchairs in a hassle-free way. There you have it: money for your well-loved, used, designer pushchairs!