UK, Italy and Spain all down versus YTD May 2012; However, Germany and France both see growth.

Mixed bag for Euro toy markets at half time

New data from NPD has shown that the UK toy market is trailing behind other territories in Europe for the first five months of 2013.

Up to the end of May, the UK market was down two per cent in value and down three per cent in units. This puts us behind France, which is showing growth of almost two per cent for the same period, and Germany, which is up four per cent.

Italy and Spain, however, are also feeling the pinch, down three and two per cent respectively.

The outdoor category has been the key sticking point for the UK market, down 14 per cent on the previous year, while summer seasonal toys is down 17 per cent. The action figures category has also dropped by eight per cent.

“Outdoor is the second largest category for the beginning of the year, but it does fluctuate a lot from one month to another,” Frédérique Tutt, toys global industry analyst told ToyNews. “You can bet that outdoor will be through the roof for July.”

Tutt said that the small two per cent decline can be overturned easily at the end of the year – January to May only represents 25 per cent of annual sales, the same as the entire month of December.

The average price for the period has risen slightly to £6.40 from £6.33, and it will be the higher priced items that will drive the market through to Christmas.

“Last year, for the second or third year in a row, the best price points in Europe were over £20/€20 in each country,” she said. “People really want quality and are prepared to pay the price for a really good innovative toy. At the moment there is a decrease of sales below £5.”



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