Rory Partis, director UK Toys & EuroToys NPD, looks at the potential outlook for the rest of the year, following a surprisingly positive selling period so far.
At the time of writing, the UK toy market is currently +7% in value YTD vs. the same period in 2019. That is the best performance we have seen at this stage of the year since 2016, when the market was also growing at +7% at this stage and finished with a full year performance of +6% in value. This year has been unprecedented; with the UK going into lockdown in March and only just easing out of some of those measures, the last few months have been turbulent to say the least. But the toy market has performed well in a tough time.
Outdoor Toys has been one of the big winners during the lockdown period, with £30m more being spent on this category from mid-March to early June versus 2019. This has undeniably been helped by some good weather, but also by parents keen to get kids out into the garden and active.
A realistic scenario figure for 2020 is -4%, and this figure has generally been well received across the NPD client base.
With life starting to creep back towards normality, the UK toy market trends may not be as strong as they have been over the last 12 weeks. Consumers embraced particular toy categories during this period, and the toy market met that demand admirably – even with the majority of stores being closed. There are so many unknowns still to come this year; in all of our potential scenario planning outcomes, the second half the year will have a declining trend. But one thing is for sure, the sales increase which the UK market has posted over the lockdown period have put it in a fantastic position moving into this period. Remember, for our realistic scenario of -4% to happen, the market would be -8% for the second half of the year. A market that was flat for the rest of the year would lead to a final year trend of +2%. I’m not sure anyone at the start of April would have considered that could even have be a possibility, so we can but dream.
Read the full in-depth article in the July issue of Toy World, here.