July 5 - The imminent arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first child looks set to boost the UK economy by an estimated £243 million, according to the Centre for Retail Research. Hayley Platt looks at what's on offer.
A new baby for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is a retail opportunity not to be missed. And companies around the globe are cashing in. Baby boutique JoJo Maman Bebe is one of many launching a royal baby wear collection. Laura Tenison is the company's founder. SOUNDBITE: Laura Tenison, founder and MD of JoJo Maman Bebe, saying (English): "The reality is we needed something that had a feel good factor in this country. We haven't had the weather this year but we are getting a royal baby and I'm sure that everyone in the British mother and baby industry is grateful to her royal highness for turning the eyes of the world onto the UK and onto UK designed mother and baby brands." But it's not just UK designs which are benefitting. The Duchess has reportedly bought a Bugaboo. The Dutch product is already sold in 50 countries but Kate's interest has ignited sales. Shirley Thiselton runs London's Peppermint baby wear shop. SOUNDBITE: Shirley Thiselton, manager Peppermint baby wear shop, saying (English): "We have had more interest in the Bugaboo Chameleon, people are obviously commenting that Kate may have purchased one and although that hasn't been confirmed there has been interest in customers asking if this is the colour that Kate bought and we have seen a rise in sales." UK sales of prams and pushchairs are expected to rise by 13%. And the royal bump means bumper profits in other sectors too. Retailers will make an estimated £243 million pounds. £62 million on alcohol. £56 million on china and collectables And £87 million on food and festivities. Joshua Bamfield is from the Centre of Retail Research which collated the data. SOUNDBITE: Professor Joshua Bamfield, Director for the Centre for Retail Research, saying (English): "We can expect people to be buying the royal bib and all sorts of things that are themed with the name of the new baby or the colour of the new baby. It will be quite a thing after all to say well I'm so and so and I was born in the same year as the future King or Queen of England." Britain's royals are particularly popular in the States. And this is the latest addition to a collection from the US retailer behind gDiapers and gNappies. The royal baby - which will be third in line to the throne whether boy or girl - may not end up wearing one. But it will help contribute to a worldwide sales boom which is expected to top half a billion dollars.