US: NPD stats shrug off recall issue

Two per cent more Americans bought toys in 2007 than in 2006 according to report.
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The summer of recalls didn’t deter shoppers, with every US household with children under six making toy purchases during the year - spending an average of $485 - according to the market researcher.

The report found that 107 million households, or roughly nine out of 10 households, bought toys, an increase of two million compared with 2006.

It also found that 88 per cent of households without children under 18 spent an average of $113 on toys.

However, store sales declined slightly, from $21.1 billion in 2006 to $20.5 billion in 2007, translating into an average toy budget of $191, compared to an average of $201 in 2006.

"Even though 2007 was a tough year for the U.S. toy industry few industries are as widely penetrated in the lives of U.S. families as are toys," the report stated.

Anita Frazier, industry analyst with NPD, added: "We have seen no evidence of timing shift in purchasing. Every year you can count on 50 per cent of total annual sales occurring in the fourth quarter of the year due to holiday purchasing, and last year was no exception. Year-in, year-out, it's very steady from a seasonality standpoint."

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