'Woolies effect' sees independent toy retailers defy recession

70 per cent of Toymaster members report sales were up or flat for the first quarter.
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Despite NPD data showing March sales were down 21 per cent year-on-year, independent buying group, Toymaster has reported that the majority of UK and some Northern Ireland members have continued to trade well.

Of Toymaster members' sales announced to date, over 70 per cent were up or even on the first quarter of 2008, despite the later Easter in 2009. The rise suggests the 'Woolworths effect' is continuing to benefit the majority of the retailers.

Trading conditions in the ROI continue to be difficult with only 28 per cent of Toymaster members showing a sales increase. Retailers have reported that tough economic conditions are making all areas of retail difficult.

Initial feedback on Toymaster member’s Easter trading have also been positive, although differing regional weather patterns over the UK will have benefitted some members more than others.

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