STANLEYTOWN, Va., April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Young America, the industry-leading brand of infant-to-teen furniture, today announced the results of a national study with moms across the United States. With 11,000 babies born daily in the U.S., raising a child costs an average of nearly $11,000 in the first year; $220,000+ for the first 18 years. The study, "All Decked Out: Shopping for Babies and Children," explored how 300 women, from expectant mothers through moms with teens, shop for children's items. The study was conducted between February 28 and March 3, 2011 by Q & A Research, Inc., Novato, CA; and some of the answers are surprising.
"We undertook this study to better understand the mindset of mom when she walks in a store looking for items for children," said Neil Mackenzie, marketing director for Young America. "In the process, we discovered information that dispels stereotypes and would be helpful to our whole industry, so we're sharing it today. Baby shopping is serious business for women. They want to be armed with facts and information to help them be the best moms they can be. The retailer plays a big role in helping her make the right decisions."
It's well known that there is a lot of preparation to have children. Women are altering their work schedules (50 percent), setting up an education fund (45 percent), arranging daycare (35 percent) and in-home help (32 percent), and talking with their other children (43 percent) about the impact of a new baby. They also are highly conscious of the financial and lifestyle impact that a baby can have on themselves and their families.
However, decorating the baby's room is second only to stocking up on supplies when preparing to accommodate a newborn. Tops on the shopping list are furniture essentials: New cribs and baby hampers (58 percent), dressers (55 percent) and changing tables (54 percent) and a rocker (46 percent). The things they add to their rooms last are mirrors, bookcases, and nightstands.
Even in today's tight economy, nine out of 10 moms look to buy new furniture from stores where they can see, touch, and feel each piece of furniture, and understand how it works. The big box stores, like Babies R Us (30 percent), Walmart (18 percent) and Target (15 percent) are where moms may start shopping. Half of moms look to the Internet to buy new select items. Less than 20 percent of women will go online or to stores for any used furniture for their children.
The good news for independent retailers: 40 percent of moms shop more than one store and 13 percent chose local baby boutiques for the items on their shopping lists. The reasons for shopping around primarily included price (61 percent), but they also were looking for the ability to customize their nurseries and childs' rooms (43 percent) and for style variety (39 percent).
Despite every store's best attempt to razzle and dazzle with loveable, cuddly decor, women are not charmed by the surface glitz of the retail environment. Moms today enter a store from a very practical perspective. In the study, 92 percent seek safety first when deciding one brand over another and what goes into a child's room. They look for automatic drawer stops, tip restraints, corner stabilizers and reinforced joints. Three-quarters of moms look for independent verification by companies like Intertek® that certify product quality. Considerable concern is shared among seven out of 10 moms who worry about the safety of used furniture, preferring to purchase new to alleviate their fears. Many moms want brands made in America. After safety, functionality, price, and quality are very important qualities when deciding to add items for children to a home.
Practicality may rule the day when shopping for baby, but after adding essential pieces to a child's room, customization of the nursery draws her attention. Almost half of moms actively seek creative ways to style their nurseries. One in four women actively seeks kid-interactive items to enhance their rooms. Environmentally-friendly options and organic materials also are on the list of more than one-third of moms. So when they see independent certification of environmental safety by companies like GREENGUARD®, moms rest more assured in their decisions.
Going from baby to toddler again brought out the female shoppers. 73 percent of moms will shop again for new furniture when their child reaches the age of 18 months to three years. Eight in 10 of these women will purchase an all new set of furniture or will add new pieces to the room. The most purchased item is a new bed, by 84 percent of these women, but their focus is on adding more storage and accessories to the room, including a toy box (54 percent), dresser (42 percent), bookcase (31 percent), closet organizer (20 percent), armoire/door chest (19 percent), wall storage unit (15 percent) and decorative accessories (47 percent).
Interestingly, when the family ages to be tweens or teens, eight in 10 moms go shopping again; and 54 percent of them buy full new sets or new pieces. As one woman commented, "I want my child to have the room they deserve. In my household growing up, I received a new set of furniture when I got older and I am going to do the same for my son. When he gets older, his room should become more mature, just as he is." This sentiment was shared by many.
For most moms-to-be, the list of items for their children is long. But, when they find the perfect bed, or chest, or dressing table, nine out of 10 women are likely to tell their friends about their experience in a store. And, good news for dads-to-be, you are first on her list 58 percent) when seeking an opinion about what to buy; grandmothers ranks second (13 percent).
With so many babies born in the United States every day, there's a whole lot of decorating going on. For retailers, there's a big opportunity to capture her attention if they remember that she arrives with a list and is in a very practical frame-of-mind when shopping. She looks for safety first and wants to touch, see and learn about how products work. If a dad joins her on the shopping trip, pay as much attention to him as you do her. And remember, 67 percent of expectant mothers in America will rejoice in having a baby shower to whittle down that list!
Young America is Stanley Furniture Company's industry leading brand of infant-to-teen furniture, Built to Grow™ from crib to college. With all of its products made in the USA, Young America is the most trusted children's furniture brand for safety, broad selection and quick delivery. To learn more visit youngamerica.com.
SOURCE Young America