NPD: 2019 – The year so far

Published on: 9th August 2019

In our August issue, Melissa Symonds reviewed the first half of the year, considering the outlook for the rest of 2019 in the toy market.

At the time of writing, half year June 2019 figures have just been released, and unfortunately the UK market hasn’t steadied itself. In fact, it’s getting worse. Even adjusting for the closure of TRU, the rest of the market is down -6% in value and a massive -15% in volume (Source: NPD POS Tracking Service, adjusted trend), so it’s not just the loss of TRU that is impacting the market. Despite strong growth for the remaining toy specialists and value retailers, growth across the total market is hard to come by. Even online growth has slowed. So, what has happened, or not happened this year?

As stereotypical as it for the British to always be talking about the weather, it has a major impact on the total toy market, especially at the start of the year. Outdoor and Sports Toys is the second largest supercategory, accounting for 17% of total toy sales YTD-2019. Traditionally, 49% of the category’s annual sales should have been completed by the end of Q2 (compared with 34% of Total Toys). While we’ve had some nice weather in 2019, it has fallen far behind the hot weather that we had early in 2018, and Outdoor & Sports Toys accounts for 40% of the total decline YTD – the largest decline in the market. The areas with the deepest decline are Playground Equipment and Pools. There is usually a short period for outdoor toys to sell, with sales usually starting to pick up around Easter until the end of June. With that window closed now, it looks like UK toy sales will not be boosted by Outdoor this year, although within the overall category, skates, skateboards and scooters are bucking the trend.

To read the rest of this article, which was published in the August issue of Toy World Magazine, click here.


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