Prince George's Swaddle Already Hard to Find: 'Royal Baby Effect' Takes Off

Prince George's baby swaddle and car seat are already hot itemsIt's been two days since the world got a glimpse of the royal baby, and already the retail industry is feeling the impact.

First it was Kate Middleton's cornflower blue polka dot dress, which the new mom wore outside the hospital in a nod to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. As soon as word got out that British designer Jenny Packham was responsible for the frock, fans of the dress crashed Packham's website.

Now it's all about the newborn, who poked a hand out of his bird-print swaddle by aden + anais and immediately prompted a run on the product. The company's website has since sold out of the blanket, though it's still available at select retailers. It looks like the "Royal Baby Effect" could potentially overshadow the "Kate Effect."

Kate Middleton's Stylish Maternity Looks

This christening shawl is just like the one Prince William had as a child"We are truly grateful and so delighted that the couple chose to debut the prince in aden + anais," the brand's founder, Raegen Moya-Jones, told the Telegraph. "It is such an honor!" The bird-print swaddle, made of 100 percent cotton muslin, is part of a four-piece "Jungle Jam" set that retailed for $68.69. We reached out to the brand for comment but have not heard back at press time.

Those looking to scoop up the swaddle before it's gone forever should note that it's still available online at Bed, Bath & Beyond and The white christening shawl Prince George wore while exiting the hospital is also in high demand. G.H. Hurt & Son, which has worked with the royal family for decades, sent over a $69 merino christening shawl just like the one Prince William had as a baby. A source from the brand, a small, family-based company in Nottingham, England, told the Daily Mail, "The phone has been ringing off the hook and we have been taking more online orders than we have ever seen before. We had no idea that they were going to use it until we saw the television footage ourselves. We were dancing with joy."

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Prince George's swaddle is still available at Bed Bath & Beyond, but probably not for longThe Centre for Retail Research in Nottingham estimated that the royal baby will generate a $373 million retail boost from July 1 through August 31. "One of the biggest factors will be the unintentional royal brand endorsement," Joshua Bamfield, director of the CRR, said in a press statement. We reached out to Bamfield for more information, but his bustling office was unable to get back to us at press time.

"The 'Kate Effect' has already taken the fashion world by storm with each of her choices flying off the shelves within moments of her leaving the house. This trend will follow [as] the heir's baby grows, [for] rattles, first bike, and so on. It's a culture of 'keeping up with the Cambridges' that isn't going away, albeit a very profitable culture for the retail sector." The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge certainly have expensive taste, and in this economy people have a tough-enough, time keeping up with the Kardashians โ€” forget about royalty.

Sales of upscale strollers are the key area of anticipated growth. "We expect sales of prams and pushchairs to rise by 13% [an increase of $50.7 million to a new total of $422 million] as new parents 'trade up' to more exclusive baby carriages, following a trend that is expected to be set by the royals," says the CRR. "The baby carriage will become a must-have status symbol and the lucky manufacturer can expect a similar boost in sales to that achieved by iCandy peach when Victoria Beckham adopted one for her daughter Harper." According to the site, iCandy's sales escalated from $5.5 million in 2009 to $14.7 million in 2011, largely due to exposure from celebrity names. Once the royal couple takes Prince George out for a stroll in his new carriage, rumored to be a light blue Bugaboo stroller, it may become the best-selling model on the market.

Just as women run to copy the outfits of their favorite stars, now they're quick to snatch up celebrity baby gear, too. The CRR believes everything from baby clothes to cribs and toys will be selling out once they're associated with Prince George. "Suppliers are expected, also, to exploit any such link in sales to export markets including those such as North America where interest in the new baby is strong," says the CRR.

Royal baby memorabilia is flying off shelves. (Beauty and the Bib)In addition to Prince George baby goods and more affordable knockoffs, memorabilia is not to be underestimated either. The Royal Collection Trust Shop next door to Kensington Palace offers a range of baby items celebrating Prince George, along with guardsman baby pajamas. Beauty and the Bib offers versions that say "I love my Auntie Pippa" and "I love my Uncle Harry." My 1st Years sells customizable sheepskin booties and sleep suits that say "HRH" with a crown on them. And Mothercare has plans for a collection of royal rompers and a stroller designed to look like a royal horse-drawn carriage.

Will Prince George upstage his own beautiful mom in the retail market? Only time will tell. In the meantime, onlookers will anxiously await this royal baby's stylish first step.

For the latest on the royal family, check out the video below.

Related links:
Kate Middleton's Stylish Maternity Looks
Kate Middleton and Prince William's First Day as New Parents
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