US: Toy sales decline in November

Data from NPD Group shows sales were down two per cent through November 2009.
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Sales in the US were $16.03 billion for the year to November, down from $16.38 billion in 2008 and $21.3 billion in sales for the preceding 12 months ended in November 2009 compared to $21.77 billion for the corresponding period of 2008.

The categories that recorded a rise in sales year-to-date (YTD) and in the 12-month year-on-year (YOY) period through November included building sets, up 22 per cent YTD to $761 million and up 25 per cent YOY to $1.02 billion.

Action figures/accessories/role-play, were up by six per cent YTD to $1.25 billion and up seven per cent YOY to $1.62 billion.

Arts & Crafts was up by four per cent YTD to $2.25 billion and up four per cent YOY to $2.7 billion and the catch-all 'all other toys' category, up four per cent for both measurements.

Games and puzzles sales were flat YTD through November but declined by one per cent for the 12-month period; minus puzzles, game sales rose one per cent for both time periods.

Commenting on the possible causes of the gains, NPD toy analyst Anita Frazier said: "Building Sets and Arts & Crafts are two supercategories that have benefited from consumer value.

"Both super categories include toys that provide hours of entertainment for kids, and in the case of arts and crafts, with many products at lower than average price points."

Declining toy supercategories included plush, down 13 per cent YTD and ten per cent YOY; Youth electronics, down 13 per cent YTD and 11 per cent YOY; Vehicles, down nine percent for both measurements.

Outdoor and sports toys, fell by eight per cent YTD and nine per cent YOY; Infant/pre-school, down five per cent for both measurements; and dolls, down two per cent YTD and one per cent YOY.

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