Miami Children’s Hospital, which last year launched a line of kid’s consumer products called KidzStuff, has scored a deal with Walmart to carry its infant and children’s clothes on the retailer’s website.
“If the products do well, we hope to get space in their stores,” said KidzStuff’s Logistics and Retail Operations Lead Debbie DaSilva. The two products to be featured on the Walmart website are a baby romper designed to protect the child from sun exposure and a similar outfit with a patent-pending insect repellant, each costing $19.99.
DaSilva believes KidzStuff is the only hospital-created consumer product line of its kind in the country. The brainchild of Miami Children’s CEO Dr. Narendra Kini, it is a subsidiary of the hospital, which funded its start-up.
While declining to provide the start-up cost, DaSilva said any eventual revenues from retail sales will flow back to the hospital’s philanthropic initiatives.
The hospital also serves as a think tank for KidzStuff’s product research and development efforts. Through a program called Idea Machine, anyone in the hospital can submit a product idea.
“We select the best ideas and narrow them to what we want to develop. Doctors work with me on the prototypes and designs,” DaSilva said.
So far, Miami Childrens’ pediatricians have helped develop a baby-safe nail trimmer and a patent-pending onesie to cradle an infant’s neck, as well as the protective rompers. In the works are a toothbrush for young children being designed with Dr. Rosie Roldan, who oversees the hospital’s urgent-care center in Doral.
As one of the nation’s 25 top-grossing children’s hospitals in 2013, with $1.61 billion in patient revenues, Miami Children’s can afford to invest in new revenue streams. But other than branding its reputation in the minds of consumers, how will its retail efforts affect the core business of providing pediatric medical care?
DaSilva said the core business isn’t affected. The focus remains on “helping parents take better care of their kids.”