UK has become the 'worst performing toy market'

The chairman of the BTHA, has spoken of the difficulties over the past year in the toy industry.
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In an address to visitor's of the association's Industry Day, Roger Dyson pointed to a number of difficulties faced throughout 2008, which have led to the UK becoming "The worst performing toy market in the developed world when compared with 2008."

Dyson pointed to a number of reasons for the situation. He said:

"The administration of Youngsters in April was challenging enough for many of our members, but the reqercussions of the administration of Woolworths have still not subsided and are unlikely to to, at least until 2009 is well past.

"The changing landscape of retail in teh UK is and will continue to be a challenge to our members for some time to come but our industry will as ever change and adapt to what will continue to be an ever changing economic and retail environment."

He continued: "We face a further difficulty, lower turnover leads to lower marketing spend which leads to lower sales, we are in a downward spiral that we need to reverse."

Despite a difficult year for the industry and the BTHA, Dyson did point to some good news for the future:

"With Toy Fair 2010 almost sold out, the financial forecast for Toy Fair 2010 is excellent, although the association is commited to return 50 per cent of profits to the exhibitors who also support the 2011 Toy Fair."

Looking forward, Dyson commented: "Children will always want toys, our task is to produce toys that are of high quality, are well marketed, innovative, inspirational, offer excellent play value to our consumer and are of course safe.

"Providing that we product and sell toys that meet this exacting criteria, the long-term success of our industry is assured."

In conclusion, Dyson stated: "2010 will be a new start for our industry, the administrations of Youngsters adn Woolworths will be behind us, we have a rejuvenated Toy Fair at Olympia that is already almost 90 per cent sold.

"As an industry, we will be starting from a lower base and we need to grasp the opportunity this will offer us with both hands."

To read Roger Dyson's address in full, click here.

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