Author: Guest Contributor

The NPD Group Examines How the Toy Industry Fared in 2017

by JULI LENNETT, senior vice president, industry advisor, toys, The NPD Group The U.S. toy industry grew by 1 percent to $20.7 billion in 2017, according to retail sales data* from global information company The NPD Group. Unit sales grew faster than dollars, up 3 percent, bringing the average retail price down by 2 percent to $9.99. The industry was 14 percent larger in 2017 than 2014, which calculates to a compounded annual growth rate of 4.5 percent. In terms of sales performance across the supercategories tracked by NPD, seven of the 11 supercategories posted gains in 2017. All...

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by NATHAN RIGBY, vice president, One Click Retail; and DANNY SILVERMAN, CMO, Clavis Insight On September 19, 2017, Toys “R” U.S. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Once the most recognizable toy seller in the country, it struggled in recent years as consumers increasingly prefer to shop online, and kids are more interested in touchscreen technologies and robotics than board games and action figures. Enter Amazon. While Toys “R” Us racked up debt throughout last year, Amazon’s toy sales grew by 12 percent. The e-commerce giant has numerous advantages over its brick-and-mortar competitors. Today, Amazon’s Prime membership is at an...

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The Hottest Trends of 2018

Where to Look and How to Capitalize on Them by Christine Osborne, owner, Wonder Works; principal, Christine S. Osborne LLC I am often asked three things: What item is trending? How do I find sources for the trending product? Will this trend really help my business? Here are tips on how to spot toy trends and capitalize on them. WHY YOU SHOULD CARRY TRENDING ITEMS The fourth quarter can make or break a specialty toy store. Many have gone from doing 60 percent of their yearly business to only 30 percent during the last three months of the year....

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2017: The Year of Surprise

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR 2018? by SEAN MCGOWAN, managing director, Liolios Group It’s January as I write this, and in honor of two-faced Janus, let’s look back on the state of the toy industry in 2017 and, more importantly, see what 2018 might have in store. As I think about 2017, the word that most frequently comes to mind is “Wow.” Just, “Wow.” Regardless of which side of the political aisle you favor, the year began and ended with a bunch of “WOW!s,” with a couple of “WHOA!s” thrown in here and there, and more than a few “WTF!?s” along...

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Toy Fair: Same Old, Same New

by WENDY SMOLEN, founder, Toy Fair is older than all of us, despite that it caters to those younger than most of us. But it leaves its mark on everyone who attends. “The basics of Toy Fair have remained the same since the industry first came together in 1903,” says Toy Association President and Chief Executive Steve Pasierb. “We must provide opportunities for meaningful introductions and engagements that build business, whatever a company’s or person’s role is in the industry. The challenge is to evolve with the times.” For me, this is Toy Fair No. 25. I’ve made...

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