Retail Advisory Board unsure on World Cup sales lift

Fingers are crossed for a tournament boost, but some toy retailers will be staying away.
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Retailers across the UK may be gearing up for a summer of football, but members of the ToyNews Retail Advisory Board remain skeptical that the event could mirror the World Cup success that reportedly boosted the UK toy trade by £14m in 2010.

“The World Cup will be an important event for Shop Direct’s digital department store brands but not necessarily for toys,” Shop Direct’s buyer of boys toys, games and outdoor toys, Neil Mitchell told ToyNews.

“Our World Cup toy offer will be tight and focused on outdoor products such as goals and balls, backpacks and water bottles and collectable figures with both England and Brazil branding.”

ToyTown’s Brian Simpson, meanwhile, said he would be staying away from the merchandise.

“We stay away from World Cup merchandise simply because it’s dead stock as soon as the event finishes,” he offered.

“If you get your order quantities wrong, you could lose profit that you made on the items you sold. Most of the types of items that are done relating to the World Cup are carried in the major retailers and grocers, so we just let them get on with it.”

However, Sainsbury’s says the event will be a massive opportunity. Jon Biddle, leisure buyer, said: “Official England and Brazil merchandise will be big, and there is a feeling that England could surprise a few people.”

Other sporting events could also help to boost the toy sector.

Toy Hub’s Helen Gourley said: “We have lots of sporting events going on in Scotland, with the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup. We have already seen a strong start to outdoor toy sales.”

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