In Brief There’s gold in those nappies… you know what we mean
The baby category – rather cloyingly referred to simply as ‘baby’ in our industry – is experiencing something of a gold rush these days. And by gold rush, we mean an unseemly scramble to shovel up what remains of a finite resource – the disposable incomes of new parents. Take Dis-Chem for example – after buying out the Baby City brand in late 2020, it went after Baby Boom, a smaller retailer with 23 stores and a less premium offering a year later in a deal which faced stiff opposition from competitors but was approved by the Competition Commission. In the meantime, the other retailers are going all-in on their own offerings: Clicks, for example, has just opened its fourth standalone Clicks Baby Store in Menlyn Park, Pretoria, which inter alia will offer Babyhood Australia, a premium innovative nursery furniture brand that ‘grows’ with the child. Mr Price Baby, you will recall, launched several standalone stores in August, and Checkers opened its first standalone Little Me store in late 2021. And Massmart’s Game is still struggling, erm, gamely to entrench its baby offering in the heart of the value-conscious punter.
Comment: It’s a mark of the consolidation of our sector that where one goes, everyone else must pile on. It’s going to be great when one of our great retailers does something different.