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 Crazy 8 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 birth rate 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 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 is the leading brand of children’s clothing, gifts, and accessories in America, selling more than 10 products for every child born in the U.S. The designs are based on a heritage of quality and innovation that has earned them the trust of generations of families. They continue this heritage in every little detail to make dressing easier for moms and life more comfortable for babies, and as they move into the future, they are proud to help families like yours with innovative products and new ways to shop for them.
Throughout the years, Carter’s has been known for its thoughtful little details like the Handi-Cuff mitten sleeve that protects babies from self-scratching, and the Jiffon neck design that slips over little ears for easy outfit changes – and although they’ve grown a lot since the early days, they stay true to the philosophy that earned us the trust of generations of families.
They believe that childhood is a celebration, and the colorful prints and cute characters they design are inspired by the joy and love children bring into everyone’s life. They celebrate childhood by supporting babies, children, and families with thoughtful designs, quality materials and construction, and convenient shopping options.
You can count on Carter’s to take care of the little details so that you are free to focus on what really matters: celebrating your little one – and the hugs, cuddles, giggles, and babbles that light up our lives.
Although all brands sell the same basics, including bodysuits, pajamas, and dresses, there are subtle differences.
Take, for example, this summer’s chambray bodysuit. Target is selling it with whale-print khakis and suspenders ($21.99). Macy’s has a version with a striped bow tie and pink dinosaur-print chinos ($46). On Amazon, it comes in the form of a checkered romper packaged with a plaid button-down shirt and navy shorts ($19.99).
Each line has its own design team and pricing specifications. While Walmart and Target may sell individual rompers for $6, Amazon tends to sell larger bundles — three sets of pajamas, say, or five bodysuits — for about $20 a piece. Amazon also favors more timeless pieces that can be sold for a year or two, Krugman said, in contrast to other retailers, which tend to markdown and replace items every 12 weeks. (Jeff Bezos, the founder, and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)
The company was early to tap the notion that parents want reliable basics at midrange prices. Babies outgrow clothing quickly in the first year, going through dozens, if not hundreds, of items. The average Carter’s item sells for $8.50.
Commitment to Quality
Carter’s works closely with vendors, suppliers, testing labs, and other third parties to ensure the products meet high standards of quality. Product safety guidelines provide detailed direction to designers, product managers, and suppliers on how to ensure products are safe for the children who wear and use them.
They require all production factories that directly source from to complete annual product safety audits with periodic checks by Carter’s Quality Assurance and Product Integrity field teams. Carter’s also spends two to three months onboarding new factories so that they are thoroughly vetted and teams are appropriately trained in our proprietary quality guidelines.
Increasingly, that also means keeping up with fast-changing fashion trends (yes, even for babies). Avocados, llamas, and narwhals are in, as are earth tones and neutral colors like white and grey. Executives said there is also growing demand for clothing printed with trucks and dinosaurs for girls, and sequins and cats for boys. Current bestsellers include a mustard-yellow dress for girls and infant’s pants with dinosaur spikes on the back.
The Bottom Line
SIZING IS A STRENGTH OF CARTER’S INFANT CLOTHING LINE. THEY ACTUALLY HAVE A DEDICATED PREEMIE SHOP WHERE YOU CAN FIND A MULTITUDE OF CLOTHING OPTIONS FOR THE SMALLEST BABIES (THEY EVEN HAVE AN “UP TO 5 LBS.” SIZE).
OTHERWISE, CARTER’S IS KNOWN AS A GO-TO FOR THEIR QUALITY CLOTHING AND THEIR FREQUENT DOORBUSTERS, COUPONS, AND STOCK-UP SALES. YOU’LL FIND LOTS OF PRINTS, SAYINGS, AND MATCHING SETS HERE.