It’s worrying nonetheless. And when the beloved coalition have finished raping the nation’s core services and slung millions on the dole, how can it not affect consumer spending on entertainment items? How can it not affect parents’ expenditure on toys?
But a Dickensian Christmas? That might be overplaying it a little. Citrus fruit and twine are not about to become top-selling children’s gift items, surely?
However, the old Etonians are clearly trying to take us back to the good old days of the workhouse and the whip-hand, so maybe the answer to those Chinese manufacturing problems is to bring it all back home and let our own kids get to work? Think of the reduced shipping costs; the shortened lead times; the improved margins. It makes sense. No wonder so many in the toy trade wanted them in.
It seems that some of 2010’s earlier momentum has slowed a little, particularly in the independent sector, judging by some of the comments from our retail contacts.
But if there’s growth this year, and all signs point to it, with NPD data showing the market up against 2009 for most of 2010, it will likely come from multiples, not indies, who are once again being hurt by some brutal price cutting from loss-leading supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s to name but one.
Or maybe we’re going right back to the good old days when independents shops ruled the High Street. A money-making independent?
Talk about a curiosity shop.