NPD is predicting that Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday this year effectively gives consumers an extra shopping day before Christmas and could deliver a much-needed £24 million bonus for the UK toy industry.
Despite the UK being the fourth largest toy market in the world with a value of £2.9bn, NPD says that while like for like sales of toys for the year to November were up by more than 1.5%, the toy market has been flat in what is regarded as the peak season from October until the end of November. As a result, the extra shopping day should provide a much-needed boost to the sector, as Christmas trading represents 35% of the annual turnover and is worth £1bn in sales revenue.
Commenting on the implications for the market, Frédérique Tutt, industry analyst for NPD EuroToys says: “An extra day for Christmas shopping couldn’t come at a better time for the UK toy industry, as we have seen a £3 million decline in sales since the beginning of October, compared to the same time last year.
“The last time Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday was in 2005, when the market benefitted from an extra £24 million worth of sales in the last week before Christmas. If the same happens this year, it will more than make up for the flat market during the autumn.”
NPD data for 2011 indicates that modest growth early in the year, followed by a flat peak season means the extra day for Christmas shopping will lead to the toy market achieving 1-2% growth overall this year, compared to 2010. The top 10 best selling toys at the end of November are:
Retail sales by value:
- LeapPad Explorer Tablet – LeapFrog
- Innotab Learning tablet – Vtech
- Kidizoom Twist Digital – Vtech
- Fur Real Cookie Pup – Hasbro
- The Logo Board Game – Drumond Park
- Innotab software – Vtech
- Moshi Monsters Moshling Figures – Vivid Imaginations
- Fijit – Mattel
- Airhogs Vectron Wave – Spin Master
- Ninjago Fire Temple – LEGO
* Top ten best selling toys by value from 20th to 26th November 2011