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Company > Carter's Inc: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2024

Carter's Inc: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2024

Published: Feb 03, 2024

Inside This Article


    In 2024, Carter's Inc. continues to lead as a premier designer and marketer of children's apparel. This blog post delves into the intricate details of Carter's business model, highlighting how their direct-to-consumer and wholesale distribution channels have contributed to their longstanding success. Furthermore, we will explore a comprehensive SWOT analysis, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the current market. Lastly, an examination of Carter's competitors will provide a clear perspective on where the company stands in the competitive landscape of children's apparel. Join us as we dissect the elements that contribute to the resilience and growth of Carter's Inc. in an ever-evolving industry.

    What You Will Learn

    • Ownership and Vision: Discover who owns Carter's Inc. and the core mission that drives the company's strategies and operations, providing a deeper understanding of its foundational goals and objectives.
    • Revenue and Strategy: Uncover the intricacies of how Carter's Inc. generates revenue, alongside a detailed explanation of its business model canvas, giving you insight into the mechanics behind its financial success and market positioning.
    • Competitive Landscape and Strategic Analysis: Learn about the main competitors of Carter's Inc. and gain exclusive insights from a comprehensive SWOT analysis, highlighting the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats within the dynamic retail industry.

    Who owns Carter's Inc?

    Who Owns Carter's Inc?

    Carter's, Inc., widely recognized as one of the leading brands in children's apparel, operates under a public ownership model, as it is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CRI. The ownership of Carter's, Inc. is divided among various stakeholders, including institutional investors, individual shareholders, and company insiders.

    Institutional investors hold a significant portion of Carter's stock, demonstrating the confidence that mutual funds, pension funds, and other large investment entities have in the company's performance and growth prospects. Among these institutional investors, you will find names such as Vanguard Group Inc., BlackRock Inc., and FMR LLC, which are some of the largest investment management firms globally. Their substantial holdings in Carter's not only underline the brand's market strength but also its importance in investment portfolios focused on the retail sector.

    Individual investors, including both retail and high-net-worth individuals, constitute another vital segment of Carter's ownership. These shareholders invest in Carter's for its potential for capital appreciation, dividends, and its reputable position in the market of children's apparel.

    Company insiders, including top executives and board members, also own a portion of Carter's shares. Insider ownership is closely watched by investors as it can indicate the confidence that the company's leadership has in its future. The actions of these insiders, whether buying or selling stock, often provide valuable signals to the market regarding the internal perspective on the company's prospects.

    It's important to mention that the composition of Carter's, Inc. ownership can fluctuate over time due to market transactions, investment strategies of institutional investors, and decisions made by individual shareholders and company insiders. Therefore, current and prospective investors are encouraged to regularly review the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the most up-to-date information on its ownership structure.

    In summary, Carter's Inc. enjoys a diverse ownership structure that includes some of the world's most respected institutional investors, individual shareholders who believe in the company's future, and insiders who are deeply involved in guiding the company towards sustained growth and profitability. This blend of stakeholders underscores the broad appeal of Carter's as an investment and highlights its prominence in the children's apparel market.

    What is the mission statement of Carter's Inc?

    What is the mission statement of Carter's Inc?

    Carter's Inc., a leading brand in the apparel market for babies and young children, has a mission that reflects its dedication to quality, innovation, and accessibility. Their mission statement is succinct yet powerful: "To create products for every child born in the U.S." This statement is a bold declaration of their ambition to be an integral part of the lives of all American families, right from the moment a new life begins.

    At its core, Carter's mission revolves around inclusivity and universality. They aim not just to cater to a segment of the market but to embrace every child with open arms, offering products that blend comfort, style, and practicality. This mission drives their business strategies and product development processes, ensuring that they maintain a diverse range of products that can meet the needs and preferences of all parents and their children.

    Moreover, Carter's Inc. places a significant emphasis on quality and affordability. They understand that parents want the best for their children without having to compromise on financial aspects. Hence, their mission also encapsulates the goal of providing value for money, making high-quality children's apparel accessible to as many families as possible.

    In essence, the mission statement of Carter's Inc. is not just a guiding star for the company's operations but also a promise to its customers. It showcases their commitment to being a part of every child's journey, offering products that ensure comfort, safety, and style. Through this mission, Carter's continues to build its legacy as a brand that families across the United States trust and love.

    How does Carter's Inc make money?

    How does Carter's Inc make money?

    Carter's Inc, an American designer and marketer of children's apparel, has established itself as a leading brand in the industry. The company makes money through a diversified business model that spans across various channels. Understanding how Carter's capitalizes on its brand and operational strategies provides insight into its financial success.

    Retail Stores

    One of the primary revenue streams for Carter's Inc comes from its extensive network of retail stores. These stores, located both in the United States and internationally, sell a wide range of children's clothing, gifts, and accessories. The direct-to-consumer model allows Carter's to capture a significant margin by selling its products directly to the end consumer.

    Online Sales

    With the digital age in full swing, Carter's has also successfully tapped into the e-commerce market. Their website offers the complete range of products available in stores and occasionally online-exclusive deals. This channel has seen significant growth, especially with the increased consumer preference for online shopping. Online sales not only contribute to Carter's revenue but also increase its brand visibility and customer reach.

    Wholesale Distribution

    Another key component of Carter's revenue comes from wholesale distribution. The company partners with a variety of retailers, both large department stores and smaller boutique shops, to sell its products. This approach allows Carter's to leverage the existing customer base and distribution networks of these retailers, expanding its market presence without the direct cost of retail operations.

    International Operations

    Expanding beyond the United States, Carter's has been pushing into international markets, including Canada, Mexico, and China, among others. International operations allow Carter's to diversify its revenue sources and reduce its dependence on the American market. By adapting its product offerings to meet the cultural and seasonal needs of these foreign markets, Carter's can tap into new customer segments.

    Licensing Agreements

    Carter's also generates revenue through licensing agreements. By allowing other companies to use its brand name and designs, Carter's receives a licensing fee. These partnerships can range from creating branded merchandise to collaborating on special collections. Licensing allows Carter's to benefit from the sales and marketing efforts of its partners, further extending its brand reach.

    In summary, Carter's Inc makes money through a multifaceted approach that includes retail and online sales, wholesale distribution, international expansion, and licensing agreements. This diversified business model not only maximizes revenue opportunities but also mitigates risks associated with market fluctuations. As Carter's continues to innovate and adapt to changing market dynamics, it stands to maintain and possibly enhance its financial success in the competitive children's apparel market.

    Carter's Inc Business Model Canvas Explained

    Carter's, Inc., a major player in the children's apparel market, has built a robust business model that has allowed it to thrive in a competitive industry. By examining Carter's, Inc. through the lens of the Business Model Canvas, we can gain insights into what makes this company tick, from its customer segments to its revenue streams. Below, we delve into the key components of Carter's, Inc.'s business model canvas.

    Key Partners

    Carter's, Inc. relies on a network of key partners to ensure its operations run smoothly and efficiently. These partners include:

    • Manufacturers and Suppliers: Carter's outsources the production of its clothing to manufacturers primarily in Asia. It maintains strong relationships with these suppliers to ensure quality and compliance with its standards.
    • Retail Partners: Besides selling through its own channels, Carter's also distributes its products through major retailers, both in physical stores and online.
    • Logistics Providers: To manage its supply chain and ensure timely delivery of products to stores and customers, Carter's partners with logistics companies.

    Key Activities

    Carter's, Inc. focuses on several key activities that drive its business forward:

    • Design and Development: Constantly innovating and creating new designs that resonate with its target market is at the core of Carter's business model.
    • Marketing and Branding: Carter's invests in marketing and branding activities to maintain its position as a leading brand in children's apparel.
    • Supply Chain Management: Efficient management of its supply chain is crucial for keeping costs down and ensuring product availability.

    Key Resources

    The resources that are essential to Carter's success include:

    • Brand Reputation: Carter's strong brand reputation is a critical asset that influences consumer purchasing decisions.
    • Intellectual Property: Design patents and trademarks protect Carter's unique designs and brand identity.
    • Physical Stores and E-Commerce Platforms: Carter's omnichannel approach includes physical retail stores and robust e-commerce platforms to reach a wide customer base.

    Value Propositions

    Carter's delivers significant value to its customers through:

    • High-Quality, Durable Apparel: Carter's focuses on producing clothing that is both durable and comfortable for children.
    • Affordability: Despite the high quality of its products, Carter's remains affordable for the average family.
    • Brand Trust: Parents trust Carter's for their children's clothing needs due to the brand's long history and reputation for safety and quality.

    Customer Relationships

    Carter's maintains its customer relationships through:

    • Customer Service: Providing excellent customer service, both in-store and online, helps Carter's maintain a loyal customer base.
    • Loyalty Programs: Carter's offers loyalty programs that incentivize repeat purchases through rewards and discounts.


    Carter's reaches its customers through various channels:

    • Brick-and-Mortar Stores: Carter's operates numerous retail stores across the country.
    • E-Commerce: A strong online presence allows customers to shop Carter's products from anywhere.
    • Wholesale Distribution: Carter's also sells its products through other retailers, expanding its reach beyond its own stores.

    Customer Segments

    Carter's targets several customer segments, including:

    • Parents of Young Children: The primary focus is on parents looking for quality, affordable clothing for their children.
    • Gift Buyers: People purchasing gifts for baby showers, birthdays, and other occasions involving children.
    • Wholesale Customers: Other retailers that wish to sell Carter's products in their stores.

    Cost Structure

    Carter's cost structure involves:

    • Production Costs: The cost of goods sold, including materials and manufacturing.
    • Operating Expenses: Expenses related to running its retail outlets and e-commerce platforms, including rent, utilities, and salaries.
    • Marketing and Sales: Costs associated with advertising, promotions, and maintaining customer relationships.

    Revenue Streams

    Carter's generates revenue through:

    • Direct Sales: Revenue from products sold through its own retail and online channels.
    • Wholesale Revenue: Income from selling its products to other retailers.
    • Licensing Deals: Revenue from licensing its brand and designs to other manufacturers.

    By understanding the components of Carter's, Inc.'s business model canvas, we can appreciate the strategic decisions that have positioned the company as a leader in the children's apparel market.

    Which companies are the competitors of Carter's Inc?

    Carter's Inc., known for its position as a leading brand in the children's apparel market, faces competition from a variety of companies. These competitors operate in both the direct retail and wholesale spaces, offering a range of products that vie for the attention of parents and gift-givers. Understanding the competitive landscape is crucial for analyzing Carter's Inc.'s market position and strategic direction. Below, we delve into some of the primary competitors of Carter's Inc.

    The Children's Place

    The Children's Place is a significant competitor, operating a chain of specialty stores offering apparel and accessories for children. With a strong presence in malls across the United States, The Children's Place has established a robust brand identity and customer base. Like Carter's, they focus on creating high-quality, comfortable clothing for kids, but they also emphasize trendy designs that appeal to a broad demographic.

    Gap Inc. (Baby Gap/Gap Kids)

    Gap Inc., through its Baby Gap and Gap Kids divisions, competes directly with Carter's in the children's apparel market. Gap Inc. is known for its casual, American style clothing, offering a range of products from newborn to pre-teen sizes. Gap's strength lies in its global brand recognition and extensive retail network, which includes standalone stores and online platforms.

    OshKosh B'gosh

    Although OshKosh B'gosh is a subsidiary of Carter's Inc., it operates somewhat independently and caters to a slightly different segment of the market. Known for its durable and playful designs, particularly its iconic overalls, OshKosh B'gosh offers products that complement Carter's offerings. While they collaborate under the larger corporate umbrella, the distinction in brand identity and product focus creates an interesting dynamic in the competitive landscape.


    Gymboree, once a formidable competitor in the children's apparel industry, has seen its market presence fluctuate due to financial struggles and subsequent restructuring. However, with its relaunch under new ownership, Gymboree aims to reclaim its position by focusing on high-quality, classic children's clothing and accessories. Gymboree's commitment to creating a fun and engaging shopping experience for both parents and children mirrors Carter's customer-centric approach.

    Target and Walmart's Private Labels (Cat & Jack, Garanimals)

    Large retailers such as Target and Walmart have introduced their private label brands (Cat & Jack and Garanimals, respectively) that directly compete with Carter's in terms of price point and market reach. These brands offer a wide variety of children's apparel at competitive prices, appealing to cost-conscious consumers. The extensive distribution networks and aggressive marketing strategies of these retail giants pose a significant challenge to Carter's market share.

    Hanna Andersson

    Hanna Andersson is a premium children's clothing brand known for its high-quality, organic cotton clothing and unique Scandinavian-inspired designs. With a focus on comfort, durability, and sustainability, Hanna Andersson positions itself as a niche competitor to Carter's, targeting consumers who prioritize eco-friendly products and are willing to pay a premium for them.

    In conclusion, Carter's Inc. navigates a competitive landscape featuring a mix of specialty retailers, global brands, and private labels. Each competitor brings distinct strengths and strategies to the table, from pricing and product quality to brand identity and market positioning. Understanding these dynamics is key to assessing Carter's ongoing and future market performance.

    Carter's Inc SWOT Analysis

    Carter's Inc, established in 1865, has grown to become one of the leading brands in the children's apparel industry in the United States. Over the years, it has built a strong reputation for quality, durability, and innovation. To understand Carter's current market position and strategic direction, it's vital to conduct a SWOT analysis. This framework helps in identifying the company's internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external opportunities and threats. Here, we delve into Carter's Inc SWOT Analysis to uncover the factors contributing to its success and the challenges it faces.


    1. Brand Reputation: Carter's Inc has established a strong brand reputation over the years for high-quality children's apparel. Its focus on comfort, durability, and style has made it a preferred choice among parents.
    2. Wide Product Range: The company offers a broad array of products, including bodysuits, tops, bottoms, dresses, and accessories, catering to the needs of newborns, toddlers, and young children. This wide range ensures that Carter's can serve a significant portion of the children's apparel market.
    3. Extensive Retail and Online Presence: With a robust network of over 1,000 company-operated stores and an extensive online presence, Carter's ensures its products are easily accessible to consumers across the United States and internationally.
    4. Strong Financial Position: Carter's Inc has consistently demonstrated solid financial performance, with healthy profit margins and a strong balance sheet. This financial stability enables it to invest in new product development, marketing, and expansion strategies.


    1. Dependency on the US Market: Despite its international presence, a significant portion of Carter's revenue comes from the United States. This heavy reliance on a single market makes it vulnerable to economic downturns and changing consumer preferences in the US.
    2. Intense Competition: The children's apparel market is highly competitive, with numerous players ranging from specialty brands to large retail chains. Maintaining market share against such competition requires continuous innovation and marketing efforts, which can strain resources.
    3. Limited Diversification: Carter's Inc primarily focuses on children's apparel, which limits its diversification. Expanding its product range to include other related categories could mitigate risk and drive growth.


    1. Global Expansion: There's significant potential for Carter's to expand its footprint internationally, especially in emerging markets where the middle class is growing, and demand for quality children's apparel is increasing.
    2. E-commerce Growth: Enhancing its online shopping platform and optimizing it for mobile users can drive sales. The pandemic has accelerated e-commerce trends, and Carter's can capitalize on this by improving its digital customer experience.
    3. Sustainable and Organic Products: There's a growing trend towards sustainable and organic children's clothing. Carter's can seize this opportunity by launching eco-friendly product lines, which could attract environmentally conscious consumers.


    1. Economic Downturns: Economic recessions can significantly impact consumer spending on children's apparel. Since Carter's products are positioned as quality items, they may be perceived as non-essential during tough economic times.
    2. Supply Chain Disruptions: Global events, like the COVID-19 pandemic, have highlighted vulnerabilities in international supply chains. Any disruption can impact Carter's ability to produce and deliver products on time.
    3. Changing Consumer Preferences: The fast-paced nature of the fashion industry means that consumer preferences can shift quickly. Carter's needs to continuously monitor these trends and adapt to stay relevant.

    In conclusion, Carter's Inc has a strong market presence and brand reputation in the children's apparel industry. By leveraging its strengths, addressing its weaknesses, seizing opportunities, and mitigating threats, Carter's can continue to grow and maintain its leadership position.

    Key Takeaways

    • Ownership and Vision: Carter's Inc. is a publicly traded company, with its ownership spread across various shareholders, including institutional investors and individual stakeholders. The company's mission statement emphasizes providing quality, innovative products that make life easier and more enjoyable for babies and children.

    • Revenue Generation: Carter's Inc. generates revenue through a multi-channel approach, including physical retail stores, online platforms, and wholesale distribution. Their product range encompasses a broad spectrum of children's apparel, accessories, and related products, focusing on comfort, style, and functionality.

    • Business Model Overview: The Business Model Canvas for Carter's Inc. highlights the company's value propositions, such as brand reliability and a wide product selection, key resources like a robust supply chain, and customer relationships built on trust and loyalty. Their business model emphasizes operational efficiency, market penetration, and continuous product innovation.

    • Competitive Landscape: Carter's Inc. faces competition from both direct rivals in the children's apparel sector, such as OshKosh B'gosh (which it owns), The Children's Place, and Gymboree, as well as larger apparel brands with diversified product lines, including Gap Inc. and Target's Cat & Jack brand. The company distinguishes itself through brand heritage, product quality, and a strong emphasis on customer service.

    • SWOT Analysis Highlights: Strengths of Carter's Inc. include its strong brand recognition, extensive distribution network, and diversified product range. Opportunities lie in expanding its global footprint and enhancing its online presence. However, the company must navigate challenges such as intense competition and changing consumer preferences. Threats include potential supply chain disruptions and the impact of economic downturns on consumer spending habits.


    In conclusion, Carter's Inc. stands as a beacon in the children's apparel industry, not just through its ownership structure and strategic partnerships but also through its unwavering commitment to its mission. Owned by a myriad of shareholders as a publicly traded company, it continues to grow and expand, guided by its mission statement to create products with a loving attention to detail, innovation, and convenience.

    Carter's Inc. has crafted a successful path in generating revenue, primarily through the sales of its high-quality, value-priced clothing and accessories for children. The company's business model, as dissected through the Business Model Canvas, showcases its strengths in key areas such as value propositions, customer relationships, and efficient channels, which collectively contribute to its financial success and market prominence.

    Competition in the children's apparel market is fierce, with companies like The Children's Place, Gymboree, and Gap Inc. vying for market share. However, Carter's Inc. has managed to maintain a competitive edge through strategic marketing, product quality, and a strong brand presence.

    The SWOT analysis of Carter's Inc. further highlights its internal strengths and opportunities, such as its strong brand reputation and expansion potential. However, it also acknowledges the challenges and threats it faces, including intense competition and changing market trends. Despite these, Carter's Inc. stands resilient, ready to leverage its strengths and opportunities to navigate the competitive landscape and continue its legacy of success.

    As we observe Carter's Inc.'s journey, it becomes clear that the company is not just about selling children's clothing; it's about nurturing a community that values quality, innovation, and a deep understanding of what parents and children need. It's this dedication that not only drives its financial success but also cements its place in the hearts of families around the globe.


    Who is Carter's target audience?

    Carter's target audience is primarily parents and caregivers of infants and young children. They offer a wide range of baby and children's clothing, accessories, and essentials, making them a popular choice for families looking for affordable and quality products for their little ones.

    What is Carter's company profile?

    Carter's, Inc. is a leading American retailer of children's clothing, accessories, and gifts. The company was founded in 1865 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Carter's operates over 1,000 stores in the United States and Canada, as well as an e-commerce website.

    Carter's offers a wide range of clothing for babies, toddlers, and young children, including bodysuits, sleepwear, outerwear, and shoes. The company is known for its high-quality products, affordable prices, and cute designs. In addition to its own brand, Carter's also owns and operates OshKosh B'gosh, a popular children's clothing brand.

    Carter's is committed to providing customers with stylish and comfortable clothing for their little ones, as well as excellent customer service. The company also places a strong emphasis on sustainability and ethical sourcing practices.

    What is Carter's mission statement?

    Carter's mission statement is: "We create a better world for children by providing them with affordable, high-quality clothing that allows them to play, learn, and grow comfortably."

    What is the new name for SWOT analysis?

    The new name for SWOT analysis is TOWS analysis.

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