Online Exclusives

Beyond the Bib

August 2, 2011

Carter's, one of the biggest names in baby apparel, adds its own line of pint sized personal care products.

Carter’s is a name generations of moms and grandmothers trust. In fact, one can argue that nearly every child in the US has worn a piece of clothing or had his spit-up cleaned up by washcloths sporting the brand’s label.
 
Just how strong is the connection between moms and this clothing brand? Net sales of the company’s Carter’s brands rose 12% in 2010 to $1.4 billion, while its OshKosh B’gosh brand pulled in another $346.6 million.
 
Now Atlanta-based Carter’s Inc. is taking on a new category in the baby realm—personal care. It sees this new venture—a series of SKUs to wash, soothe and pamper baby’s skin—as a logical way to expand sales.
 
“We have a standing history and trust with generations of mothers. When we looked at product categories beyond what was in our four walls, we saw it as a perfect space for us,” Kim Ferguson, general merchandise manager of Carter’s Retail, said about the new baby care products.
 
But can expertise in designing cute pajamas and bibs translate to personal care formulating?
 
The Carter's baby care product lineup.
The firm turned to Hatch Beauty to create the line, which includes full- and travel-size baby lotion, moisture body cream, wipes, shampoo+body wash and a diaper rash cream that contains 7% zinc oxide and a blend of chamomile, oat and ginger root extract.
 
Santa Monica, CA-based Hatch Beauty has worked with retailers and brands including Baby Gap, The Limited, Joico, Fusion Beauty and many others in the beauty space.
 
“The formulation, the scents, all the tests and the quality we have put into this—we feel like we have a very attractive product,” Ferguson said.
 
Still, baby care is already a crowded space with venerable brands commanding much of consumers’ attention (and dollars). But Carter’s won’t be going head to head with the likes of Johnson & Johnson. The Carter’s baby care line is being stocked in the retailer’s stores and online at carters.com.

 
According to Ferguson, the Carter’s baby care range gives consumers another option from what they see in CVS, Target and grocery stores.
 
Since its debut in April, the line has been well received with positive feedback coming from retailers and customers alike. According to Ferguson, the liquid powder, which goes on as a liquid and dries to a soft powdery finish, has been hot. In a phone interview from the company’s HQ in Atlanta, Ferguson told Happi.com that that sales have surpassed what was initially anticipated.

 
Carter’s created a special in-store fixture to display the line and during the packaging design process, executives honed in on attributes that would resonate with moms, such as finishes that won’t slip and caps that can be opened with one hand for those tricky diaper changes.
 
And while the line won’t be found alongside other baby brands the mass market, it will benefit from a captive audience of shoppers who come to the 400-plus Carter’s and OshKosh stores. Think about all those baby gift shoppers or moms who stop in to pick up some onesies and realize they left home without wipes.
 

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