NPD data shows soaring US toy sales during Q1 and 2, a result of the coronavirus lockdowns and good weather.
The NPD Group has announced that US toy sales are up +16% for the first half of 2020, as lockdowns, home-schooling and hot weather fuelled demand for at-home entertainment and education.
While January was flat and February slightly down (-2%), March – which saw a number of global lockdowns come into effect – saw sales surge +16%. Growth continued into April and May, +22% and +37% respectively, then slowed slightly for June, though the figure remains high at +19%.
The ongoing temporary closures of cinemas, and the resulting postponement of some major movie releases, has impacted the Action Figures category, which has become the only supercategory not to benefit from the coronavirus sales boost.
“We would never see this kind of unprecedented growth, I’ve never seen it in my life,” said Juli Lennett, NPD Group toys industry analyst. “Normally, we are up or down 3% or 4%, so this is certainly very unusual.”
Juli says she expects the rise in sales to continue for a while yet, citing the staggered re-opening of schools and a shift to more online learning. “If the schools decide to go online in the fall, parents are going to look for toys again, especially those activity toys that keep kids really busy,” she said.
US online toy sales have also increased during the pandemic, with over $368.8b spent online for toys during the first six months of the year, $77b higher than expected, according to Adobe Analytics.
While Juli warns that some parents may have to scale back on toy purchases this Christmas, she believes that others within the industry are optimistic; with millions of children thoroughly deserving of a treat after what has been a very challenging year, Juli is confident that toy sales should remain robust as we approach the festive season.