As retail gets back on track, Toy World spoke to leading suppliers to find out how their companies are re-booting plans and ranges for the remainder of 2020.
Throughout the lockdown period, the toy industry as a whole has faced numerous challenges, but suppliers have remained resilient throughout. Senior industry executives spoke to Toy World to reflect over the last few months and share the lessons that lockdown has taught them.
General manager at Vivid UK, Nick Thomas, told Toy World: “Vivid took early precautions to protect the business, focusing in on what were to become essential product categories to ensure we could meet consumer demand. Arts & Crafts, Outdoor and Games all performed well for us. We were blessed with good weather to help kick start the outdoor selling season, while games sales were strong as families engaged in a way normally only seen at Christmas.”
With opportunities surfacing among the challenges, companies are now focusing on building on these positive outcomes for the latter part of 2020, and how they can support retailers who have now reopened their doors.
“Like most of the industry, we’re breathing a sigh of relief that our independent stockists are opening for business again – it’s been an unbelievably tough time for them,” comments Clive Wooster, managing director, Geomag. “Now, with doors physically opening, we’ll be offering our independent partners a replenishment offer to get them back in stock. This should enable them to fill in any gaps over the next four weeks, and get the Geomagworld momentum running again.”
“We appreciate that, even with stores re-opening, it will still be a very difficult time for retailers, having to cope with social distancing while picking brands and products that provide limited risk,” adds Mary Wood, UK & Ireland general manager, Tomy. “We’ve pulled back on in-store demo units and FSDUs as space will be at a premium, but strong marketing support is nevertheless in place with more online assets for social or digital use.”
With retail getting back on track, we asked suppliers what they have in store for Q3 and Q4.
James Mountfield, sales director, Wild + Wolf, told Toy World, “We’ve got some incredible new product launching for the second half including Star Wars The Child’s Cute Loot Card Game. This is set to be the biggest selling product in our 15-year history. With lockdown lifting, we can really focus on building this distribution and preparing for our seasonal peak trade in Q3 and Q4.”
“We have numerous new launches for this month, all of which will be supported with robust marketing campaigns,” revealed Mark Hunt, marketing manager, Character Options. We are particularly excited about our Shimmer N Sparkle InstaGlam Dolls, a range of fashion dolls with real makeup inside, as well as the Peppa’s World of Wooden Toys range. There’s a lot of excitement in the Character camp going forward.”
Read the full Touching Base feature, with further comment from senior industry figures at Amscan, Cobi, Guidecraft, Hasbro, Hornby, IMC, Mattel, Moose, Spin Master and Zuru in the July issue of Toy World.