Q1 2020 toy sales up by two per cent in UK

The NPD Group’s Q1 report showed an increase of four per cent in toy industry sales across 13 global markets – the growth was driven by the eight percent sales increase in March, as global social distancing measures began to be imposed

Written by Georgie Dobie

Posted 05.05.2020 | Retail

Q1 2020 toy sales up by two per cent in UK thumbnail

The NPD Group has released its Q1 2020 report of global toy industry sales.

According to the report, toy industry sales increased by four percent* in the first quarter of 2020 across the 13 global markets (G13)** tracked by The NPD Group, a leading global information company.  

Australia experienced the highest percentage growth at 11 percent, followed by Germany (up eight percent), United States (up eight percent), Russia (up six percent), UK (up two percent), and Mexico (up one percent). 

All other countries experienced declines in Q1 due in large part to the limited amount of time many consumers in those countries had to prepare for the lockdowns as non-essential retailers were forced to close their doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Total industry growth for the quarter was driven by the eight percent sales increase across the G13 in March, which marked the beginning of social isolation, lockdowns and movement restrictions across the globe. The US market was responsible for 80 percent of the gains, with Germany, Australia, the UK and the Netherlands being the only other countries recording growth for the month. 

Frédérique Tutt, Global Toys Industry Analyst at The NPD Group, said: “The earlier date for Easter in 2020 had a small impact on the results, but the majority of the sales gains were the result of the stay at home orders across the globe.  

“The nature of the local retail environment was also a factor. In many countries, non-essential stores were ordered to shut down, which resulted in sales shifting online to the benefit of some retailers able to provide a delivery service or curbside pick-up at the store location.” 

With little differences by country, consumers in lockdown turned to games and puzzles more than any other super-category, making it the best performing super-category for the quarter (+44 percent) and the top-gaining one. Four other super-categories recorded growth: outdoor and sports toys, arts and crafts, building sets, and vehicles. 

Looking at the top-gaining toy properties across the G13 in the first quarter, Disney Frozen was the largest gaining property, followed by Star Wars, Toy Story, Pokémon, and Lego Star Wars.  

*Source: The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, $ Sales adjusted and projected / January-March 2020 
**NPD’s Global Toys footprint covers Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.
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