The majority of retailers are positive 2013 will be a prosperous year for the toy industry.
76.5 per cent told ToyNews they’re confident about the health of their business for the year ahead, despite sales tracker NPD’s estimated two per cent year-on-year dip for the UK toy market in 2012 (correct at the time of writing).
Just six per cent aren’t optimistic about business in 2013, while 17 per cent said they aren’t sure what to expect.
ToyNews' retail survey of more than 100 UK toy stores also revealed that most retailers had a successful 2012 (44 per cent), with greater Christmas takings than 2011 (40 per cent). One third said business in 2012 was the same as it was in 2011, while a fifth claimed last year was worse for them compared to the previous 12 months.
One Entertainer store manager told ToyNews: “The business feels really strong and management is really on the ball. Multichannel is doing extremely well.
“We’ve had a good year, but getting people through the door to shop locally remains a challenge.”
Sarah Hook from Hoombletoys & Collectables added: “We’re up a lot from the previous year. The Turtles toys have had a phenomenal start and retro toys are selling like hot cakes. We can’t wait for 2013.”
However, 21.5 per cent say getting customers into stores is their biggest challenge of 2013, while 30 per cent are more concerned about competing with other retailers. 13.6 per cent say the rise in internet shopping is having the most powerful impact on their business.
“We’ve had to work harder, sell more and watch costs to get the same profit,” commented Lindsey Bayley from Children’s Choice in Derby. “It’s been difficult with all the competition and aggressive cost cutting by online sites and supermarkets.”
Meanwhile, more retailers told ToyNews that Furby was their highlight of 2012 than any other product or event, while construction, pre-school and action figures were the top-selling toy categories.
Looking ahead, most stores say they’re excited about additions to the new LEGO Legends of Chima range throughout 2013.
ToyNews spoke to 101 toy retailers, including independents, online stores, national chains and supermarkets.
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