Exclusive: There ain’t nothing like a game!

Published on: 9th September 2021

Sam Giltrow looks at how the Games & Puzzles category is rising to the challenge of following an exceptional 2020.

The games and puzzles category was one of the standout pandemic performers in 2020, with adults and children alike discovering or returning to gaming to help while away the hours and keep spirits up during lockdown.

Although it is undoubtedly a better class of problem to be coming off the back of such a strong year’s trading, it is nevertheless a challenge to anniversary previous numbers of that magnitude. Thankfully, talking to a host of games and puzzles suppliers, the vast majority are confident that games and puzzles sales will be maintained in the run-up to Christmas this year.

Meanwhile retailers, concerned about the current supply problems caused by Brexit, Covid-19 and supply chain issues, are already squirrelling away stock to meet demand, as families start planning entertainment for (hopefully) bigger gatherings this year.

Toy World spoke to Firestorm Games in Cardiff and Leisure Games in London to find out how they are approaching their Games & Puzzles offering this year, while Toymaster marketing director Paul Reader told us: “This is always a solid category for the independent retail channel. Games are holding their own against last year, especially if you include Pokémon trading cards in the numbers.”

Suppliers are also optimistic about prospects for the category in the run-up to Christmas. Steve Asbey at Cheatwell Games reveals: “While not at the dizzy heights of 2020, there is still strong demand for all of our board games, certainly more so than we had in previous summers, when board games sales are traditionally slow.”

As well as Cheatwell, Asmodee’s Roger Martin, Ravensburger’s Katy Fletcher, Mattel UK’s Kelly Philp, Hasbro’s Anne Leonhardi and Goliath Games’ Ben Hogg are among those who offered thier input on what the category has to look forward to this year, and how retailers can maximise sales.

To read the full article, which appeared in the Toy Wolrd September Games & Puzzles Supplement, click here.



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