Canstar Blue’s 2019 baby shops review has seen Baby & Toddler Town and Baby Bunting compared on value for money, customer service, range of products on offer, website/store layout, and overall customer satisfaction.
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* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order. Canstar Blue research finalised in August 2017, published in August 2017.* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. By default, brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are sorted by the mean overall satisfaction score as rated by consumers. You can click the arrows at the top of any column in the table to sort by the results in that column. Canstar Blue research finalised in August 2019, published in August 2019.
Baby & Toddler Town has brought it home for Australian parents with five-star reviews on value for money, customer service and overall satisfaction.
Baby & Toddler Town rated best for baby shops
The arrival of your newborn is something special – particularly if it’s your first – but buying all the baby products that you’ll need might feel like a nightmare. From car seats to strollers, nursery furniture and baby clothes, as well as nappies and baby wipes, the list is almost endless! But if you’re not sure about where to look for everything you need before the little bub arrives, you’ve come to the right place.
In our inaugural baby shop ratings, we’ve surveyed hundreds of parents to ask about their opinions of the baby shop they’ve most recently purchased from, which include stores that exclusively sell products for babies and young children. Think of it as your helping hand from all the experienced mums and dads who have been there and done that!
In 2019, two major chains received the minimum sample size to be included in our review, but just one was rated five stars for overall satisfaction – Baby & Toddler Town. It was rated best on value for money and customer service, plus received four stars for its range of products and website/store layout.
PLEASE NOTE: Since the publication of this report, Baby & Toddler Town has been placed into liquidation. More details here.
Best-Rated Baby Shops
Canstar Blue’s 2019 baby shops review saw two chains compared and rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
1st Baby & Toddler Town
2nd Baby Bunting
Baby Bunting was rated a solid four stars on overall satisfaction, but triumphed in the areas where Baby & Toddler Town didn’t do as well, scoring five stars on its range of products on offer, plus its website/store layout. Let’s now get an overview of what each shop offers.
Baby & Toddler Town
Baby & Toddler Town is said to be a family-owned and operated company, retailing a range of products for babies through to toddlers up to six years of age. It has a “Super store” approach with a large line-up of baby products that focuses on brands that are well-known in the Australian market. Plus, it states it has an extended offering for toddlers (2-6 years), which includes categories such as Bedtime (car beds, single beds, bunk beds), Ride Ons (bikes, trikes, motorised and pedal cars), Educational and Developmental Toys, Outdoor/Indoor Playtime, and Swim Development.
Baby & Toddler Town says it takes pride in its staff who specialise in baby products with most of them also being parents that have an understanding of the overwhelming task of first-time baby shopping. Baby & Toddler Town also says it can help create ‘Package Deals’ and provide checklists to help with the shopping process.
Established in Melbourne as a family-owned business, Baby Bunting is said to be one of Australia’s largest specialty nursery retailers and a one-stop baby shop, catering to parents with children from newborn up to three years of age. It offers a range of brands across prams, car seats, cots, nursery furniture, high chairs, bathing, feeding, home safety, toys, babywear and more. Some of the brands include Bugaboo, Silvercross, Steelcraft, Britax Safe n Sound, Maxi Cosi, Infasecure, Ergobaby, Boori, Oricom, Medela, Bonds, Huggies, Bright Starts and others.
From humble beginnings with a single store in suburban Balwyn, Baby Bunting now employs more than 800 people across 52 national superstores and 11,000sqm warehouse in Melbourne. Within its stores, it has parenting rooms, equipped with a microwave, change table, baby scales and glider chairs. It’s also said to offer a variety of other services including gift registry, click & collect, accredited car seat fittings and lay-by.
Other Baby Shops
Aside from the two major baby shop chains featured above, there are many other stores you may like to consider, including:
Bubs n Grubs
The Babyco stores you see today are under new ownership after the original Babyco business went into receivership. Babyco is a small company that offers car seats, cots, strollers, highchairs, prams, walkers, rockers, change tables and other nursery furniture, as well as children’s clothing ranging from new borns up to age five. It also has a selection of toys and manchester, said to be even more comprehensive than in the old stores.
Baby2Kids is a Tasmanian-owned family business established in 2003. It offers a large variety of strollers and prams, with both three and four-wheeler buggies. It also features well-known brands for cars seats, capsules, boosters, bassinets, cots, and a large variety of nursery furniture, portacots, rockers, swings, mobiles, soft toys, books. Some of the brands it stocks include Boori International, Grotime, Bebecare, Safe n’ Sound, BabyLove, InfaSecure, Safety First, Mountain Buggy, Steelcraft, Baby Jogger, Bugaboo, Baby Bjorn, Ergo Baby and others. Additionally, it has an extensive range of designer clothing from newborn up to six years of age, plus a line of footwear and sleepwear.
Baby Village claims to be one of the most experienced baby stores in Australia, with highly trained sales advisors who have many years of experience to help guide you through the product choices available. Its range features cots, prams, strollers, toys, dummies, high chairs and more. As the name suggests, Baby Village is all about people, aiming to ensure you select the right products and brands for your lifestyle. It stocks well-known brands, including Bugaboo, Safe n’ Sound, Stokke, Medela, BabyBjorn, Ergobaby and Mountain Buggy, and aims to remain competitively priced within the market.
Bubs n Grubs
Bubs n Grubs began operating in Brisbane in 2006, offering baby wear and kids furniture. Bubs n Grubs has now opened a warehouse and features two floors of products on display with over 10 cot packages, a range of prams and strollers, bassinets, baby car seats, booster seats, high chairs and baby accessories available. It also sells designer brands, out and about products, such as baby carriers, bedding and baby monitors with gift vouchers available upon request. Its online store is aimed to provide products to rural and remote areas as well as for those with busy lifestyles.
Established in 1969 in Sydney, Kidstuff has flourished with more than 50 locations around Australia. It claims to be a one-stop-shop for that elusive, unique gift. In store and online you’ll find well-known toy brands from around the world, alongside a large range of educational toys, plus a line of eclectic gifts and novelties.
Alongside finding out which baby retailers parents prefer, our research also identified the following drivers of customer satisfaction for parents when we go shopping:
Value for money: 35%
Customer service: 30%
Range of products on offer: 19%
Website/store layout: 16%
Having a baby can become quite costly very quickly, which explains why ‘value for money’ is the most important factor for parents. 45% of survey respondents said they often spend more than they planned to in store. This could be for a variety of reasons, one of which could be because they had to purchase extra items that they didn’t know about before, or possibly they fell into the trap of stellar marketing. One in four respondents (28%) have looked at products in store and then purchased online instead.
One in five (20%) said they always visit the same baby product retailer, and 38% trust the advice they receive from a salesperson in-store. When asked their reasons for visiting the same baby retailer, survey respondents said:
Range of products/brands available: 53%
Good customer service and support: 44%
They seem to be reasonably priced: 41%
Because of special offers: 40%
Out of habit: 28%
Whether you’re after some cute baby clothes or tiny baby spoons, there are plenty of stores to help take the stress out of all the preparation. You’re going to do great!
Canstar Blue surveyed 1,200 Australian parents of children aged 6 years and under across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a product(s) from a baby shop/retailer in the last 2 years (i.e. a shop that exclusively sells products for babies and young children) – in this case, 690 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.