Smyths Toys cancels traditional Christmas promotional event in UK & Ireland

Smyths’ £10 off every £50 spent event has previously taken place at the end of September.

Smyths

According to media reports, Smyths Toys has cancelled its long-standing Christmas promotion of €/£10 off for every €/£50 you spend. According to the Irish Mirror, the retailer made the decision due to the Covid-19 pandemic, saying that it cannot risk having large volumes of shoppers flock to stores in a short period of time with social distancing in place. The decision will apply to the retailer’s stores in both Ireland and the UK.

A Smyths spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, our 10 off every 50 promotion will not run for 2020. We cannot responsibly encourage a large volume of customers to visit our stores in a short time period while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

However, we are excited to announce we will have more promotions and super savings on your favourite toy brands throughout the autumn-winter period.”

While it is undeniably true that bricks and mortar retailers will have to adopt different strategies when it comes to crowd management in stores in the run-up to Christmas this year, suppliers have been speculating for months about what may happen with retail discounting during this year’s festive season. Potential logistics challenges, together with the possibility of product shortages on some hot items, has led some to wonder whether aggressive discounting might be a less widespread tactic this year.

In addition, despite the fact that many toy retailers have enjoyed far better trading than many other retail markets, the whole retail sector is facing increased costs and ongoing uncertainty; under the circumstances, each retailer’s individual market share is arguably less important than maintaining a viable, profitable operation. So, while there will inevitably still be a raft of retail promotional activity to entice consumers, perhaps this year’s offers will be less cut-throat than we have seen in recent years?

Exclusive: Making an impact – Toy World spoke to Diaframma’s Alice Morrison

Toy World spoke to Alice Morrison to get a sense of what the marketing landscape will look like for toy companies going forward. 

Alice Morrison Diaframma

With Christmas looming and three months of challenging trading conditions behind us, Alice Morrison, international sales director at the kids and family marketing agency Diaframma, tells us how toy companies are approaching the second half of 2020.

“Now more than ever, companies are really thinking about where best to place their marketing budget, and which types of platforms will provide the maximum ROI,” comments Alice. “We have seen a variety of responses; some budgets have been tightened or reassigned and some launches have been delayed, while some of our partners haven’t altered their plans at all. The situation is stabilising daily, and the levels of certainty and positivity are growing. Diaframma always strives to produce campaigns that are strong and impactful, and I believe our track record demonstrates that this is always achieved. Given the times we are in, this definitely contributes to selling products even more than before.”

During lockdown, television viewership inevitably increased, as well as children’s exposure to a variety of devices. As such, Alice touches upon the lessons learned about kids and family advertising during this unprecedented period.

“The production of a variety of content that caters for this change has been a turning point for us. That said, lockdown has also shown that many families have been looking for more activity-based projects to keep kids active not only physically, but also mentally.”

Evidently demand for accessible content has not halted over recent months. As such, Diaframma re-opened its studios in the thick of lockdown on 4th May, adapting the shoots to suit government regulations.

“We are very happy with the way things have been going.” adds Alice, “Currently, we’re working with family members only on set, but as regulations loosen, we are adapting and widening the casting possibilities. Each week we hit new levels, which leads us to believe we’ll be back to normal sooner rather than later.”

As uncertainty regarding toy fairs and trade events cointinues, advertising may have to cover more ground this year as a result. Alice tells us more: “Regardless of what happens with future trade shows, there will always be a need for advertising. Products are sold through consumer awareness, for which advertising is key. As we’ve seen throughout this lockdown period, it is more important than ever to be able to convey a product’s story and uniqueness as budgets throughout households worldwide are tightened, and parents are more conscious of spend.”

Read the full interview with Alice in the July issue of Toy World, here.

L.O.L. Surprise! details new collectible launches

The brand has launched two new series and a new product range, with further surprises to be revealed this autumn/winter.

 

L.O.L. Surprise! J.K. is exclusive to The Entertainer.

New collectible launches are on their way from L.O.L. Surprise!, while a new product range, exclusive to the Entertainer, will bring more excitement to the unboxing experience.

Exclusive to The Entertainer, L.O.L. Surprise! J.K. is the first mini fashion doll with real hair, real fabric fashions and real tall shoes. New characters are Diva, M.C. Swag, Queen Bee and Neon Q.T. Each mini doll has 15 surprises and is suitable for ages four plus.

L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Fashion Dolls Series Three includes four new characters: Roller Chick, Da Bo$$, Chillax and Class Prez. Each fashion doll is the big sister to L.O.L. Surprise! dolls. Fans can unbox 20 surprises, including  fashions and accessories. The new dolls give fans a unique unboxing experience, with packaging that transforms into a reusable dressing room play set for even more fashion play.

Finally, there’s the L.O.L. Surprise! Boys Series Three. Fans can unbox the brother of one of the fan favourite L.O.L. Surprise! dolls. Each character has a similar style to his sister character, but with his own unique twist. Characters include Sweet Guy, Spicy Kid, plus more, including ultra-rare character, Steezy.

LOL Surprise OMG

 

 

The new collectible launches will be supported through PR and social media, including teasers, influencer and celebrity collaborations, customisation campaigns and a digital viral content. More surprises will be revealed in autumn/winter 2020.

L.O.L. Surprise! is for children aged six plus. For more information, click here.