The “Kate Middleton Effect”—wherein everything the Duchess of Cambridge touches or wears in public turns to retail gold for designers, brands, and stores—has been well-documented. But could her retail reign be coming to an end—and will her selling power be usurped by a tiny person, barely one week old?
According to retail analysts at the Centre for Retail Research, Kate Middleton and Prince William’s first child, Prince George, born earlier this week, is expected to move upwards of $373 million worth of merchandise—souvenirs, toys, books, media, and DVDs—this summer alone, through the end of August.
Remember the swaddling blanket Prince George was wrapped in at his first-ever public appearance, just one-day-old outside St. Mary’s Hospital? That $50 bird-print cotton wrap from Aden + Anais sold out within hours. And, since the Duchess announced she was pregnant, there has been renewed interest in upmarket baby products—with experts predicting that sales of baby carriages in the U.K. will rise 13 percent as “parents trade up to more exclusive baby carriages, following a trend that is expected to be set by the royals.”
In the U.K., the papers have dubbed this Prince George phenomenon, “Keeping Up With the Cambridges.” According to reports in the BBC, when Kate Middleton picked up a Blue Almonds Moses basket for ��295 (about $500), sales of a similar, $50 version at U.K. supermarket chain Asda jumped nearly 60 percent. And we’ve yet to hear what’s happened at Britax—the makers of Prince George’s car seat!—after Kate’s assistant was spotted carrying into the hospital this week.
As for the souvenir merch, who can resist, really, when the baby goodies are so cute! My favorite is this “I Love Uncle Harry” bib from Beauty and the Bib—because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love Uncle Harry?