National retailers are being "ruthless" and as "fierce as ever" this Christmas, suppliers have told us.

The price of success

Aggressive price cutting happens every Christmas in the toy industry. We know this – before anyone points out that we’re maybe stating the bleedin’ obvious with this month’s cover story.

However, no one has ever previously predicted a ‘bloodbath’ or started talking about their fears this early in the year before (to my knowledge anyway). And usually it’s the indie retailers voicing their concerns, not the suppliers.

Several told us exclusively at the Toymaster show that national retailers are being “ruthless” and as “fierce as ever”, with one even asking “can there be any more blood?” And while this is happening, independent retailers are being more selective about the products they take on, having been burned by the national chains’ price wars one too many times before.

Another issue which has raised eyebrows this month, is Bigjigs’ tough new stance on retailers selling toys on sites with third party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, as it looks to protect its brand from being dragged into price wars.

It’s an admirable move, but one which will no doubt upset certain corners of the market – as we discovered after running our report on eBay in the May issue. Check out ToyNews Online for just some of the responses we received.

On a final note, I’d like to congratulate the Toymaster team for another excellent show.

Walking round The Majestic and chatting to suppliers in the evenings, it is clear they have genuine affection for the event. Roll on show number 22 in 2014…

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