It’s estimated that the baby fever surrounding parents-to-be, Kate Middleton and Prince William, would inject £240 million pounds (or $375.7 million) into the British economy, according to Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), in a statement published Monday. Retail opportunities, including an estimated $97 million on alcohol and $39 million on food expected to be bought for celebratory gatherings, will be a boon to the troubled U.K. economy.
Prince Charles, the grandfather-to-be, is reportedly 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 babyware to their party goods business, according to Reuters. Royal paraphernalia–from Union Jack booties to baby sleepsuits a la guardsman’s outfit–are being sold in shops set up by the Royal Collection Trust, which uses the profits for the palaces’ maintenance. Previously, during the royal couple’s engagement, the Trust raked in an approximately $67 million revenue from visitors and souvenir sales.
Third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and Prince William, the new royal baby, due on July 13, is expected conjure the same “Kate effect,” as parents of other newborns will likely imitate the Duchess’ product purchases. “One of the biggest factors will be the unintentional royal brand endorsement. 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,” explains Bamfield.
Attempts at quantifying the effect of the royal birth hark back to the dizzying estimates on the costs–ranging from $1 billion to $50 billion–associated with the Royal Wedding, which analysts admitted were actually overhyped, inexact figures influenced by media coverage.