Petit Bateau – The Premium Kidswear Brand

  • 4 min read
  • 30 September 2020
Petit Bateau – The Premium Kidswear Brand

Key Takeaways

  • Petit Bateau gives a lot of importance to its underwear and sets’ category of products. These categories are almost three times more represented at Petit Bateau than the market average.
  • • The French brand offers a wide range of kidswear of all age groups; from crib to middle school. It has the highest share of Newborn’s clothing in the kidswear market.
  •  Petit Bateau is a mix of quality fabrics and premium prices.


The French brand established in 1920, Petit Bateau quickly became one of the most famous and recognizable kids retailers. One event, in particular, catapulted the brand to worldwide fame. In 1994, Karl Lagerfeld made Claudia Schiffer wear a Petit Bateau t-shirt under a Chanel suit, and the rest is history.

Nowadays, the competition in the kidswear market is fierce. Many more affordable brands have entered the market to offer similar products. But, what makes Petit Bateau stand out from the rest of the kidswear industry?


Petit Bateau remains focused on kidswear

Soon after the Chanel runway that made Petit Bateau famous, the brand launched its adult collection with a clear focus on womenswear.

The graph shows that kidswear accounts for more than 90% of the assortment mix at Petit Bateau.


kids wear brand


Petit Bateau’s underwear, a must-have

Famous for its iconic Marinière top and its yellow waxed raincoat. Petit Bateau is even more popular for is its underwear, as more than 3.5 million pairs are sold every year.


kids wear brand


The graph above shows that the high number of underwear sold by Petit Bateau is reflected by a bigger proportion of products offered compared to the market. Retviews data indicates that the underwear category accounts for 25.6% of Petit Bateau kids’ assortment.  This represents more than three times the average market share.



Petit Bateau has the highest share of Sets. The category accounts for more than 20% of the assortment. In comparison, H&M has 17%, while only 8.7% of the market’s assortment is dedicated to sets. This might explain why, compared to the competitors, the French brand has a smaller share of the other categories (apart from t-shirt, for which it is aligned with the market average).


A brand made for kids, from crib to middle school

What actually stands out with Petit Bateau’s assortment mix is the share of Newborn. It is part of Petit Bateau’s strategy to offer a wide range of high-quality basics for children from the moment they are born to when they enter middle school. This can be observed clearly in the graph below.


kids wear brand


Moreover, we see that the division between boys and girls is more or less balanced at Petit Bateau compared to the other brands. Girls represent the highest share of business in kidswear. Therefore, it is not surprising that this gender is the most important one in terms of assortment.



A distinct price positioning on the kidswear market

From a pricing standpoint, we see that Petit Bateau has the highest price in all the different KPIs. In terms of the most frequent price, the French brand costs more than four times the market average.
This comes as no real surprise as Petit Bateau is perceived as more expensive than its competitors.


kids wear brand


Thus, with Retviews data, we see that the French brand with the iconic yellow waxed raincoat is positioned as a premium brand in the kidswear segment.


Quality starts with the fabrics

The French brand’s leitmotif is to offer quality products for children. And for that, fabrics play an essential role. We see on the fabric mix below that Petit Bateau puts a lot of focus on cotton, which it uses for its famous baby suits and panties.

Among all the products made of cotton at Petit Bateau, 10% of them are made of organic cotton.


kids wear brand


At the same time, we see that the brand has a smaller share of synthetic fabrics compared to its competitors. This might be an attempt from the brand to try and raise awareness among parents on the importance of natural fabrics for their children and the environment.



Fierce competition, but Petit Bateau stands strong with its brand heritage

Petit Bateau is an iconic kidswear brand. Whether you are from a European country or live in another continent, the small boat logo brand is highly recognizable.

More affordable brands may have entered the market, but Petit Bateau’s high-quality products are still standing strong and have many years of experience to continue thriving.


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