Carter's has built a big business catering to little ones. Operating through its William Carter Company, it's the largest US branded marketer of apparel exclusively for babies and young children. Primary products include newborn layette clothing, sleepwear, and playwear. It markets its items under the Carter's and OshKosh B'Gosh brands, as well as private labels Child of Mine, Just One You, Genuine Kids, and Precious Firsts. While Carter's sells products online and as a wholesaler via 17,000 department and specialty stores, it also operates some 720 Carter's and OshKosh stores nationwide and more than 100 stores in Canada.
Carter's primarily operates in the US, but gained a foothold in Canada by acquiring its longtime international licensee there. As a result, the manufacturer also boasts a growing retail presence across the nation and into Canada. Across its portfolio, the company's apparel and accessories are sold in more than 60 countries worldwide.
The company operates its business through five segments: Carter's wholesale, Carter's retail, OshKosh retail, OshKosh wholesale, and international. Following its Bonnie Togs purchase, Carter's realigned its reportable segments to include a new international segment to house its Canadian operations, existing international wholesale business, and royalty income from its international licensees.
In fiscal 2013, the company sold more than 313 million units of Carter's, Child of Mine, Just One You, and Precious Firsts products in the US.
Sales and Marketing
Carter's markets its products through the department stores, national chains, outlet, specialty stores, and off-price sales channels. The company sells its products through the wholesale channel, through company-owned retail stores in the US and Canada, and online. It partners with 20 licensees to sell the Carter's and OshKosh brands in 40 countries. Its Carter's brand wholesale customers include major retailers, such as, Costco, JCPenney, Kohl's, Macy's, and Sam's Club. Its OshKosh brand wholesale customers include major retailers, such as Belk, Bon-Ton, Fred Meyer, and Sears.
The company's brands compete in the $21 billion children's apparel market for children newborn to age 7. Carter's enjoys the #1 branded position and a 14% market share; OshKosh has nearly a 3% market share. Because the company uses a variety of distribution channels, it's able to market its products to a more diverse range of consumers and geographic regions.Wal-Mart sells its Child of Mine line, while Target offers the Just One You and Precious Firsts brands.
Carter's revenues increased by 11% in 2013 due to a 5% increase in Carter's Wholesale, a 17% increase in Carter's Retail, and a 31% increase in International sales, partially offset by 7% drop in OshKosh wholesale revenues. The growth in segments came about due to the opening of new stores and an increase in revenues from eCommerce sales, higher shipment volumes, and a growth in comparable store sales.
The company's net income decreased by less than 0.5% in 2013 due to higher selling, general, and administrative expenses and interest expenses (as a result of higher interest rates) partially offset by an increase in revenues and interest income.
Operating cash flow decreased by 25% in 2013 due to higher inventory inventory levels (to support planned sales and store openings), and an increase in product costs. The drop was also due to an increase in cash used in accounts receivable and prepaid expenses and other assets.
Carter's focuses on refreshing its brand presentation in all channels of distribution; geographic expansion, and strengthening its multi-channel business model. In 2013 it opened 21 retail stores in Canada, expanded relationships with its global wholesale partners, and grew its eCommerce business. It also invested more than $180 million in capital expenditures in key areas including new retail stores, the build out of its new multi-channel distribution center in Georgia, the consolidation of operations into a new headquarters in Atlanta, and strengthening its information technology resources. During 2013 the company also opened 65 Carter's stores and 18 OshKosh stores in the US.
The company has developed a reputation for producing high-quality clothing for children -- from the cradle through the early school years. The Carter's brand and private-label collections made for mass-market customers offer apparel in newborn through children's size 12. These lines mostly consist of cotton essentials, such as bodysuits and pajamas, and collectively typically account for the bulk of its revenues. Besides apparel, Carter's licenses bedding, toys, furnishings, baby gear, and gifts that are sold through mass merchandisers. The OshKosh brand, acquired in 2005, has extended the company's product range from newborns through children size 12. Known for its rugged playclothes, including overalls and T-shirts, OshKosh items are marketed at higher price points than the company's traditional Carter's branded products. The company is working to boost its revenues further through expansion of its retail and outlet store operations.
The infant and children's apparel manufacturer is banking on its 2011 acquisition of Bonnie Togs to ultimately provide a network of some 160 stores in Canada that contribute total annual revenues of more than $200 million by 2016.
Carter's extended its reach northward into Canada and added an international segment to its business as a result of the company's 2011 $98 million purchase of Bonnie Togs, a Canadian specialty retailer of children's apparel and accessories. Bonnie Togs had been Carter's principal licensee in Canada since 2007.
Carter's was established in 1865 by William Carter.