Business

Royal baby to give RM1.2b bump to British economy

From Union Jack booties to "Born to Rule" sleepwear, the British royal family has joined retailers in offering baby products to mark the arrival of the royal heir.

Analysts estimate the baby fever could boost the economy by 240 million pounds (about RM1.2 billion).

A baby sleepsuit modelled on a guardsman's outfit is one of the gifts on sale at palace shops by the Royal Collection Trust, which uses all profits for the upkeep of the royal palaces.

Prince Charles, the grandfather-to-be, is selling handmade baby shoes through a shop on his country estate Highgrove, while the mother- to-be's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, have added a range of baby goods to their party goods business.

Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), told Reuters after the release of the CRR's report on Monday: "There has been a lot of interest across the Atlantic as well, as the younger royals are very well thought of in the United States, so we are expecting good sales of souvenirs."

Bamfield said another knock-on effect of the birth would be sales of baby products as other new parents copied the duchess.

The "Kate-effect" is already well known as sales of anything the duchess wears or uses soars. A Dalmatian coat she wore last week to launch a new cruise ship sold out within an hour.

"One of the biggest factors will be the unintentional royal brand endorsement," said Bamfield. "The 'Kate effect' has already taken the fashion world by storm...and this trend will follow for the infant's baby grows, rattles, first bike and so on." – Reuters, June 18, 2013.

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