Gary Grant’s call to UK shoppers: “Don’t leave Christmas shopping to final weeks”

DreamToys and the Toy Retailers Association has issued a call to action of the UK’s consumers to make sure they get their Christmas shopping in early in order to avoid disappointment owing to issues in supply and demand in a year fraught with uncertainty over the impact of the pandemic.

In a statement issued nationwide to the press through this year’s DreamToys Top 12 Toys for Christmas, Gary Grant, the chair of the DreamToys selection committee has implored consumers ‘not to leave their Christmas shopping to the final few weeks of the year.’

The call comes amid rising concerns that retailers are expressing about meeting the demand in the lead up to Christmas owing to supply and retail issues around the pandemic.

“We implore consumers not to leave their Christmas shopping to the final few weeks of the year,” explained Gary Grant, chair of the DreamToys selection committee. “Due to Covid-19 restrictions across the country, retailers will simply not be able to service as many people in store due to social distancing.

“In addition, couriers are already overloaded and will struggle to meet the demand to get presents to people before Christmas. Added to this is the limited availability of stock compared to previous years; our advice is to shop early to avoid missing out.”

Grant’s address to the UK’s shopping population this season arrived as the DreamToys committee revealed its Top 12 Toys for Christmas 2020 as well as it long list of predicted best-selling toys for this year’s festive season. The selection was made with the trends of 2020 at its core, selecting the ‘slower play’ toys and play-sets including classics like Barbie, Monopoly, and hit brands such as Star Wars and PAW Patrol, over the fast-selling collectable items that previous years have seen.

It’s been a general trend of the year 2020 that parents and families have been making more considered purchases this year in favour of the pick-up items that have been championed in previous years. It’s been noted that as the pandemic and lockdown measures have forced families to spend more time together, a greater emphasis on the role of play and toys in their children’s lives has influenced their buying decision throughout the year.

For the period of the lockdown, NPD reports that toy sales rose by 15 per cent, while unit sales were down nine per cent for the first nine months of 2020.

“As consumers have not been able to visit stores, sales of lower price point collectables have decreased in favour of ‘slow’ play toys such as those in this year’s DreamToys list,” said Frederique Tutt, vice president, global industry expert, toys, The NPD Group.

Grant added: “This year’s DreamToys Top 12 includes a range of products from classic brands such as Monopoly and Barbie, to popular licenses and innovative new toys to suit all price points. Toys have been an important part of families’ lives during lockdown and we believe many on this list will put a well-deserved smile on faces this Christmas.”

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