Exclusive: NPD on the current UK toy market

Published on: 12th May 2020

As lockdowns remain in force, Melissa Symonds, Director UK Toys, EuroToys NPD, looks at the impact on consumer behaviour and the UK toy market for 2020 so far.

In the last six weeks or so, everyday life in the UK has changed drastically as we adjust to combat Covid-19, save lives and realise how important it is to have a strong workforce. At the same time, both the UK and global toy markets are adjusting, not just to new ways of reaching the consumer, but to the new demands in terms of products and needs from the consumer.

At the time of writing, we are able to see three weeks of toy sales since the school closures were announced and parents became aware that home schooling and entertainment for their children was wholly on their shoulders. For the four weeks from 15th March to 11th April, the UK toy market grew by +23% in value compared to the same period a year ago (Source: The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service). While normally this would be cause for celebration, volume in the same period declined by -12%. The toys that were purchased were at a much higher price-point than standard for this time of year, with the average price paid £11.46, up from £8.21 in 2019. This increase of 39% shows that the product mix of what was purchased has changed significantly. The UK toy market prior to lock down was declining in value by -5% and -6% in volume, so this short-term uplift has driven the total market to a 3% increase in value year to date up until week 15, but with volume down -8%.

However, this value growth has benefited only a limited number of categories, which are explored in the full article. This recent value growth is only a short-term phenomenon and not expected to continue as the lockdown continues and parents have already stocked up on toys.

Read the full report from NPD in the May issue of Toy World.


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