NPD: US toy sales up despite Toys R Us liquidation

Published on: 9th May 2018

New data from The NPD Group shows that Toys R Us store closures and an early Easter contributed to a 13% rise in US toy sales during the first 14 weeks of 2018.

While Toys R Us’ ongoing store liquidations have negatively impacted toymakers’ bottom lines, the US toy industry as a whole has not only been surviving—but actually thriving.

According to new data from market research firm The NPD Group, US toy sales grew by 2% in the first 10 weeks of 2018 (on par with the same period in 2017). The next four weeks, however, included the beginning of Toys R Us liquidations in the US (15th March) and an early Easter (1st April). NPD data shows that US toy sales between 11th March and 7th April grew by 36% compared to the same period in 2017, contributing to 13% year-to-date growth for the first 14 weeks of 2018.

Toy sales generally experience a bump in the two weeks leading up to Easter, which led NPD to normalize the year-to-date sales trend in an effort to determine the impact of the Toys R Us announcement. After splitting out Easter, NPD reports that approximately US$180m more was generated between 11th March and 7th April of this year, which can be attributed to the Toys R Us liquidation.

NPD data shows that the fastest-growing categories in the first 14 weeks of 2018 included Youth Electronics (led by WowWee’s Fingerlings), Dolls (led by MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise!) and All Other Toys (thanks to slow-rise ranges like Soft’n Slo Squishies, Smooshy Mushy and Squish-Dee-Lish).

Juli Lennett, SVP and toys industry advisor for The NPD Group, commented: “The Toys R Us bankruptcy has brought an incremental sales opportunity to the toy industry, and with at least a month to go until it wraps up, there is still more to come.”


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