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Debenhams sounds the death knell for the hand-me-down


Debenhams, High Street fashion retailer, reveals British parents blow a week’s salary* on updating their child’s wardrobe each season.

The research figures show that parents spend on average £357 per season on updating their child’s wardrobe for school and recreation. This figure jumps to £427 for girls, and it’s the likes of celebrity ’mini-mes’ such as Suri Cruise that are pushing this trend, as Miss Cruise herself reportedly has a wardrobe worth over $3 million.

In the online poll of 1,500 parents, Mums and Dads confessed to buying an average of 7 new girls dresses and 5 pairs of new shoes for their daughters per season, while little boys were treated to an average of 10 new t-shirts and 5 pairs of jeans in the latest style.

Parents admitted to splashing out on trend-led mini fashion items such as jeggings and blazers for girls to keep their tots in style, whilst 74% of Dads said they would buy their son their football team’s latest strip twice a year, plus the national England kit in between.

Debenhams has attributed this spend to the rise and rise of celeb kids sporting the latest catwalk fashions, or the ’Suri Cruise Effect’.

Parents were asked to vote for the celebrity kids whose style they admired. Tots who came out on top included Sunday-Rose Urban, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Kingston Rossdale, Violet Affleck, Harlow Richie-Madden and the Beckham boys Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz. However, the clear winner in the style stakes was Suri Cruise, who received over 50% of votes.

In the survey, 63% of parents said they didn’t need a reason such as a birthday party to buy their son or daughter a new outfit, and 45% shopped for new clothes for their child at least once a fortnight.

Over half of parents who were shopping for their daughters said they would consider fashion as important as functionality in picking new outfits.

In contrast to when their generation was growing up, 57% of parents said they wouldn’t dress their children in hand-me-downs from older brothers or sisters if they could afford new clothes.

Kate Liszka, Director of Childrenswear Buying at Debenhams commented: “Us Brits are somewhat famed for our competitive neighbourly streak, or for ’keeping up with the Jones’s’. Now it seems that top of the British agenda where our kids are concerned is keeping up with the Cruises.”

“The amount of money some parents are willing to spend on kitting out their kids in the latest catwalk fashions would pay for a family holiday - that’s why the designer collaborations we have in store are a great way to get that designer wardrobe for a fraction of the price.”

Clearly, keeping their kids on trend and in style are important to parents, and Debenhams offers Childrenswear ranges by huge catwalk designers Matthew Williamson, Jasper Conran, John Rocha and Ted Baker for mini-me fashion on the high street.

Notes to editors:
*According to the 2009 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) the average weekly salary is £426

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About Debenhams:
Debenhams is a leading department stores group, and has a strong presence in key product categories including women’s wear, such as dresses, men’s wear, home wares, make-up including the benefit makeup range, health and beauty, accessories, perfume, lingerie and children’s wear.

For further information or images, please contact:
Michelle Dowdall
PR Manager - Womenswear & Childrenswear
33 Wigmore Street
020 7529 0449


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 Ted Baker

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