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NPD finds out apparel is where mom-spending is at

A new report from consumer tracking firm The NPD Group takes a good hard look at just how moms spend their discretionary dollars and finds that apparel is their spending category of choice. According to Kids' Share of Wallet, released in late May, kids clothes corner 23% of total mom spending, followed by toys (13%) and leisure activities (13%).
June 1, 2008

A new report from consumer tracking firm The NPD Group takes a good hard look at just how moms spend their discretionary dollars and finds that apparel is their spending category of choice. According to Kids’ Share of Wallet, released in late May, kids clothes corner 23% of total mom spending, followed by toys (13%) and leisure activities (13%).

Anita Frazier, NPD’s industry analyst for toys and video games, says 48% of the discretionary dollars spent on kids are spent to entertain them, whether it goes to toys, video games, music, movies, books or leisure activities.

The report also debunks the assumption that household income is the main factor in determining how much money moms spend on their kids; in fact, the age of the child exerts far more influence on how spending is allocated and how much is doled out. Moms with kids older than five spend approximately 35% more than moms with younger kids.

Why? One central reason is that as kids get older, they start to use their own persistent powers of persuasion to influence purchasing. ‘They become more brand-conscious as they get older, and they also participate in more product categories,’ says Frazier. ‘So the mom of an infant or toddler probably doesn’t spend as much to entertain her child as does the parent of a tween. They probably spend more on apparel, though, because kids grow so fast at young ages that they need more frequent wardrobe updates.’

Interestingly, apparel is the category where pester power has the least amount of influence, maybe because left to their own devices, kids would wear PJs every day. Video game purchases are most influenced by kid input, and TV advertising was cited as having the biggest impact on entertainment-related purchases in that category, as well as toys.

Kids’ Share of Wallet is based on a survey sent to members of NPD’s online panel. The study targeted moms who have at least one child under 15 in the household, and was based on 1,427 completed surveys. The full content of the report is available online at www.npd.com.

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com

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