The Royal Baby is already worth over a quarter billion dollars, and he (or she) isn't even born yet!
Prince William and Kate Middleton's first child may come with a hefty bonus, according to a report released by the Centre for Retail Research in Nottingham. Folks are so crazy for Kate's bump that merchandising and just straight-up partying could give the British economy a bump of its own — to the tune of 240 million pounds, or about $380 million.
The government is already making a mint off the unborn child. Guardsman-uniform baby pajamas are on sale at palace gift shops, for example, and Prince Charles has started selling handmade baby shoes. So the Centre is expecting a retail boom when the baby finally shows its face, which could be any day now!
Specifically, they're expecting large sales of food and alcohol for baby parties. Plus, the obvious tourism dollars: "There has been a lot of interest across the Atlantic as well, as the younger royals are very well thought of in the United States, so we are expecting good sales of souvenirs," said Centre Director Joshua Bamfield.
There may be a continued effect on locals, too: royal brand endorsement. "The 'Kate effect' has already taken the fashion world by storm," says Joshua, "And this trend will follow for the infant's baby grows, rattles, first bike and so on."
Kate is kind of a retail barometer in her own right — her polka dot Topshop and dalmation-print dresses sold out within hours after she appeared publicly in them — so the Centre also expects anything Kate buys for the baby to fly off the shelves, too, making a whole mini-generation of well-accessorized tots. Remind us to hit up all the British secondhand stores in a couple of years!