Toy slump unlikely says research

Toys are less likely to suffer a decline in sales than the vast majority of other retail categories, according to a new study.
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Just 29 per cent of consumers are cutting back on buying toys in the wake of the economic downturn; the second lowest category out of eight measured in the wanted ads Retail.

The study, commissioned by the Newspaper Society, showed consumers are least likely to cut spending on opticians (24 per cent) and most likely to tighten their belts on clothing and fashion (61 per cent).

As with the other seven categories surveyed, cost and value for money is the most critical consideration in the toys market with some 43 per cent of respondents citing this as the most important consideration in deciding where to shop.

The research also indicated a general trend towards shopping more locally than seen in previous studies – consumers are shopping nearly a mile closer to home than in 2004 (Consumers’ Choice V) .

The project showed the consistent strength of local media - local newspapers and their websites - in communicating all aspects of advertising messaging to consumers across the UK.

“In spite of the economic downturn, local media - local newspapers and their websites - is consistently strong across each stage of the purchase decision-making process,” said NS marketing director Robert Ray.

“While a one-off project can never provide all the answers, the signs are that the toy industry is better placed than others to survive the hard times ahead.”

• A total of 1,268 respondents participated in the wanted ads Retail study
• The findings, broken down by region and demographic, can be seen on the wanted ads website here
• Media measured were local media, commercial TV, magazines, posters, national newspapers and their websites, commercial radio, cinema and price comparison websites

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