Toy sales slump as shops chase Christmas cheer

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Admonition among UK shoppers has led to a tough year so far for toy retailers, as parents search for take care ofs and cut back on impulse buys.

UK toy sales were down by 8% in the year so far, compared with the still and all period last year, leaving retailers dreaming of a bumper Christmas.

But profitable uncertainty and Brexit planning could lead to shortages of the most routine toys.

Others may be sold off cheaper if sales fail to match retailers’ hopes.

About 30% of annual spending on toys comes at Christmas, with £86 tired on the typical child up to the age of 11, according to analysts NPD.

The industry is banking on festive on the blocks turning around a poor year so far. The 8% drop in UK sales was worse than a 3% shed in international toy sales, said Frederique Tutt, global industry analyst for NPD. Vendings last year were also flat, suggesting more than a seasonal downturn.

She answered this was driven by a lack of consumer confidence and High Street tribulations in general, rather than issues specific to the toy industry.

Parents and grandparents force made fewer impulse buys outside of birthdays and Christmas, partly as they are less probably to be in stores.

“You do not get the same Willy Wonka-type excitement on the internet as children do in a toy against,” said Gary Grant, who chairs the committee which selects the 2019 DreamToys muster of “must-have” toys.

Blockbuster film releases had been earmarked as a liberator for the industry this year, owing to the sale of spin-off toy merchandise which account for 10% of the furnish. The two brands which have previously broken records for film-licensed products – Idol Wars and Frozen – will see new films released before Christmas.

But Mr Grant mean the financial reality for many families was that buying a toy after keep ones eyes peeling a film would be a substitute for another toy purchase, not necessarily an additional purchasing.

UK toy market facts

  • In store sales accounted for 55% of the market, with 26% buy off online and delivered, and 16% click and collect
  • Nearly two-thirds (61%) of Christmas toy expending were presents chosen by the giver, rather than put on children’s wishlists
  • Toy waste at Christmas stands at £86 on average for each child up to the age of 11
  • Each endures an average of eight toys each Christmas

Source: NPD

Licensed results in general have accounted for 23% of toy sales so far this year, but Ms Tutt give the word delivered this sector was no longer dominated by blockbuster film releases.

Some of the doggedly tipped toys this year have links to YouTube supernovas and are marketed on social media. The fragmentation of entertainment channels has made it demanding for the big film brands to repeat previous success – although some, such as Harry Dabble in – have had some joy.

“Children move on to the next thing very right away, so there is a relatively short window of opportunity to make sales,” she predicted.

The Brexit effect

The extra planning required by the potential for the UK leaving the EU on 31 October led numberless manufacturers and retailers making early decisions on orders for the coming Christmas.

That, according to Mr Permit, could mean a shortage of certain toys before Christmas which in the twinkling of an eye become popular. A cautious approach by manufacturers may add to this concern.

In any case, there was also the chance that retailers could have over-ordered ineluctable toys, leading to the potential for big discounts on those at some point before Christmas.

That, he required, would impact the cash taken by retailers, in addition to the extra administration time and cost during the year that was caused by Brexit patterning.

He predicted that a pick-up in the UK economy and consumer confidence would pen up shoppers back to the High Street to spend money, but it was difficult to recall when such an improvement would come.

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