Here’s how some parts of the toy trade are being impacted by the outbreak…
It was announced yesterday that Disney Stores across the UK have closed due to the outbreak, with a notice posted in store windows stating the closure is to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. The notice says the closures are temporary, with no re-opening date given. Disney Stores also said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Our products will continue to be available on the website.” Customers are advised to follow social media channels or contact Guest Services.
FAO Schwarz has also temporarily closed its flagship toy store in New York City until 30th March, although will continue to trade online, offering home delivery.
Some major retailers – including Smyths and Asda – have contacted suppliers to cancel visits to their offices, suggesting either online meetings or calls as an alternative where necessary.
Meanwhile Hasbro has closed its offices worldwide in order to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The offices will be closed until April 1st. “At this time, no Hasbro employees have tested positive for COVID-19,” said a company spokesperson. “We have made this decision in an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our employees and the communities in which we operate.”
Moose Toys has closed its offices in Los Angeles, as well as in the UK and France, with employees from all sites working from home. The Melbourne and Moose Far East offices will continue to monitor the situation on a day to day basis. The company sais that its business is set up to allow continued workflow and communication internally and externally to minimize any interruptions. No Moose employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Toy World is hearing of other companies, in all fields of the industry, that have adapted working practices for office based staff and brought in measures designed to protect all employees, including those whose work cannot be carried out off site.
It is also thought that some major toy companies have placed a temporary ban on all international business travel, which is believed to apply to all employees.