From fashion choices, to toys, to the baby’s pram, Portadown retailers expect to see a boost in the sales of baby gear after the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy on Monday.
The 8lb 6oz addition to the monarchy has sparked Royal family fever this week and will perhaps even deliver a mini boost to the economy.
According to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), UK customers are estimated to spend around £243m on party supplies, merchandise, toys, books, DVDs, magazines etc. to celebrate the birth of their new heir to the throne.
As new parents, baby brands and retailers will be keeping a close eye on Kate and William to see which pram, rattle or babygro gets the Royal seal of approval.
Kate’s purchase of a Moses basket earlier this year proved to be a hit, with Asda reporting a 57 per cent rise in the sales of their cheaper version.
Press outside St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington predicted that even the outfit the baby came out in would be an overnight bestseller.
Dubbed the ‘Kate Effect’, the Centre for Retail Research expects to see a 13 per cent rise in pram sales across the UK and that’s where Jonathan Rogers, owner of Toymaster Portadown, is focused.
“We’re interested to see what kind of pram the Duchess of Cambridge will push. We want to see if it’s a brand that we do. That will raise awareness of it. Victoria Beckham had an iCandy pram and that just raised the profile of the brand. Now they’re even more famous,” he said.
Mothercare Portadown supervisor Donna Adams didn’t miss the opportunity to get royal merchandise on the shelves on Tuesday.
“We have a special range in. We put it out today and hopefully it’ll bring some more people in. One babygo says ‘When I grow up I want to be a Prince’. Another says, ‘Rule the World’.
“We have teddies and a miniature Will and Kate toy with a baby pram. Hopefully it will entice customers. They’ll have a special wee piece to keep,” she said.
Portadown retailers say they can see exactly why the nation adores Kate and William and their new arrival.
“It’s such a big event because everyone is so fond of William. We remember Diana and then they’ve all been following Kate from her wedding and it’s just the next big step for them and we have a new heir to the throne. It gives everyone a bit of excitement and with the recession it’s just something happy for a change, instead of all the bad news,” said Donna.
“Everyone wants to hear about babies. It’s a wonderful thing.
“They are a nice couple, everyone knows them and knows about them and it’s been an awful long time since we have had any new royal arrivals.
“He is in line for the throne, so it’s a big thing for us as a country.” said Jonathan of Toymaster Portadown.
Bookmakers have also seen a rise in takings this week, calling it the biggest non-sporting betting event in recent history.
People have placed bets on everything from the baby’s name to his future career. According to Donna and Jonathan, one thing they can bet on is that parenthood won’t be plain sailing.
Said Donna, “Parenthood will be quite tough on them, especially with the press but hopefully they will give them peace and let them bring up their baby in the most normal way possible.
“I’m sure they will have hard times ahead of them.”
Jonathan added, “I have three children of my own and no matter who you are it’s the same experience across life. My wife and I were saying last night when you’re a new parent it’s a nightmare but it’s wonderful too.
“They’ll be on the edge of their seats, nervous and not knowing what to expect. Nothing can prepare you for it. There will be sleepless nights ahead.”
So would Jonathan be rushing to the newspaper stands to get a glimpse of the first picture of the baby?
“Oh yes! I want to see if he looks like Kate or Will or his granny,” he said.