The potential of the stay-at-home mother with young child market

If you follow Randy White’s blog or follow us on Twitter, you will have already read Randy’s recent blog citing 2011 statistics on the often-overlooked market of the stay-at-home mother with young child. The following is an expanded version of that article.

Many businesses, including location-based entertainment facilities such as FECs, experience reduced revenues during the weekday daytime. Many don’t recognize that there is a large niche market out there that can be tapped if you design for them and meet their needs. That market is families with young children. By young children, we’re talking about children age 5 and younger.

Within the location-based entertainment industry, there are a number of concepts including play cafes and mommy and me activities that specifically target the stay-at-home mother niche market and their preschool children. Other LBE concepts such as children’s edutainment centers and children’s discovery farms derive a significant part of their business from that market.

In 2011, 34.6% of married-couple families with both spouses present and at least one child under age 18 had a full-time stay-at-home mother. Married-couples with young children have a greater percentage of stay-at-home mothers. When there is one or more children under age 6, 47% of couples had a full-time stay-at-home parent; 40.9% had a full-time stay-at-home mother and 6.1% had a full-time stay-at-home father.

The younger the child’s age, the greater the percentage of stay-at-home mothers. In 2011, for married couples with both spouses present and one or more children under age 3, 44.5% of mothers were full-time stay-at-home moms. But 28% of the employed moms only worked part-time, meaning that in total, 60% of those families had a mother who was home during the weekday full- or part-time, what we call the at-home mothers.

At-home moms (and dads too) with young children search out places where they can meet up with the other mothers with young children (and dads with dads) and socialize while their children are occupied. It is revenue potential that many location-based leisure business fail to understand and capture.  

Even adult-oriented businesses can sometimes tap into the at-home mom with young children market. One interesting example is Sandbox Sports in the Seattle area that caters to adults with indoor volleyball. By accident, the owner discovered that little kids love playing in his clean sand (it’s really the moms that want clean sand) and that stay-at-home moms are desperate for places to take their kids during rainy mornings when his adult clientele is busy working. So he launched a Lil Diggers Playtime three times a week and was pleasantly surprised at all the new business. Sandbox Sports is also doing 30+ children’s birthday parties a month.

Hey, Sandbox Sports is not a beach, but it sure comes close for little tykes. Best of all, there is no rain.