Toy retail set for "Q4 bloodbath" this Christmas

Competition between national retailers and online giants set to be "fiercer than ever".
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The toy industry will face one of its most aggressive fourth quarter trading periods this year.

Retail giants including nationals, grocers and online sites such as Amazon are set to cut toy prices below RRP in a battle for market share and sales numbers, several leading sales executives have told ToyNews.

One experienced national account manager from a top ten toy company said that “Q4 2013 is going to be a bloodbath”.

“Supermarkets and nationals are going to be as fierce as ever competing with Amazon,” our source commented. 

Another added that while big retailers discounting and price-matching over top toys has become commonplace during the run up to Christmas, they are also being more selective this year by stocking fewer, better toys – with some independent retailers beginning to follow suit.

“Independent toy retailers are being incredibly selective and much more careful with what they’re stocking,” he said. “And us suppliers have to work with that. National retailers are being ruthless, too. Can there be any more blood?”

Another account manager added: “As a supplier we have no control over retail discounting. We have independents complaining about it, but there’s not much we can do when Amazon discounts below cost. We don’t think it’s going to be an easy Q4, but we believe we have strong product to compete.”

Furthermore, as of Saturday, June 1st, Bigjigs Toys will stop supplying any indie retailers selling toys on sites with third-party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

“We are no longer willing to allow our brand to be devalued by the price wars on these websites and will continue to champion and support our High Street retailers,” read a statement from Bigjigs.

Several indie toy retailers told ToyNews they are cutting back on stocking high ticket items in favour of more lower-priced toys.

“The problem with higher-priced products is the margins,” said Toy Galaxy director?Bhav Patel. 

“Toys are now in every third or fourth shop on the High Street and it’s increasing. Competition is getting harder. But we’ve got to be positive, because we can’t close up shop and leave tomorrow.”

Melton Toys’ James Colclough added: “I don’t touch certain high-price products. I’m not going to get into that battle.”

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