NPD’s Melissa Symonds takes an in depth look at UK toy market sales, looking at what’s performing well and how price points are evolving.
The UK toy market reached the half-way mark of 2022 with value sales down -8% (-£63m) compared with the first six months of 2021. Volume sales were down even further at -15%. Part of this decline was driven by the stronger than normal sales in Q1 2021, when the UK was in a third national lockdown.
It is worth noting that YTD Jun 2022 is up by +3% in value compared with the same period in 2019, the last ‘pre-Covid’ period, representing an additional £20m sales. As the UK toy market reacted positively to the lockdowns and enjoyed strong growth for these periods, it is always difficult to match those sales out of lockdown. However, Q2 2022 sales declined -6% vs. 21, without a lockdown in either period, although these sales are also up +3% vs same period in 2019. So, what are the current challenges facing the UK toy market?
The UK is facing a cost-of-living crisis with energy bills soaring, food prices increases and petrol at record highs. While the toy market is often said to be recession proof, it is still being impacted by the challenges facing consumers’ discretionary spend. In addition, the toy community is dealing with its own pricing challenges, from production to supply chain over the last year. The UK toy market has seen the average selling price increase in 2022, up +8% YTD June, roughly aligned with the Consumer Price Index which was up +8% in May. The average selling price for toys is now £9.15, up from £8.50. However, the average selling price includes a mixture of base price changes, promotional fluctuations and consumers product mix changes, so it doesn’t always tell the whole story.
Melissa goes on to look at the current key price points for toys and how this affects their volume of value sales, also examining variations in different categories and discovering which of these categories have stood out in the first half of the year.
With more on the impressive item progression of Moose’s Magic Mixies Mixlings Tap and Reveal Cauldron in the Playset Doll category, and a look at the increase in importance of Entertainment or Content this year, see the full article, which appeared in the August edition of Toy World, here.