China Toy Fair


NRF Reports Back-to-School Shoppers Still Wrapping Up Shopping Lists, Leaning More on Coupons

nrfAccording to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) latest Back-to-School/College Surveys, the average family with children in grades K to 12 completed 49.9 percent of its shopping by mid-August, down slightly from last year’s 52.1 percent.

As of August 12, fewer families had stepped out to take advantage of retailers’ special school savings opportunities; specifically, 23.6 percent had not started shopping yet, up from 20.9 percent last year. However, some were eager to get started: 15.7 percent said they have completed their lists, which is roughly the same as last year.

Meanwhile, college families got a jump on retailers’ sales and promotions this summer, with 23.4 percent stating that they completely finished with their lists, up from 20 percent last year. Slightly fewer families this year say they haven’t started shopping, at 26.2 percent versus 28.8 percent last year. [Read more...]

LIMA Launches First Multi-Country Consumer Surveys on Favorite Kids Brands

LIMAlogoLicensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) has introduced the first in a series of consumer survey reports detailing kids’ favorite brands and characters across various categories in 31 countries worldwide. LIMA has commissioned Kidz Global to produce the reports, which will be released quarterly for nine countries and semi-annually for the remaining 22.

With each report, Kidz Global’s BrandTrends will measure the relative awareness, popularity, and merchandise appeal of the top 30 brands to children. Each report will also identify the most recognizable kid licenses in the country for both boys and girls, as well as by category and in four different age groups from infants to tweens/young teens. Informative key facts will be presented throughout the reports to provide further insight into the survey results. [Read more...]

Toy Industry Association to Conduct 2014 Toy Industry Marketing and Promotions Study

The Toy Industry Association will conduct the 2014 Toy Industry Marketing and Promotions Study, its first-ever analysis of the industry’s advertising, marketing, and social media practices. The study will examine the promotional tools and techniques used by companies of all sizes, categories, and distribution channels.

Industry Insights Inc., the same firm that conducted the TIA’s Financial and Operating Benchmark Study and Compensation and Benefits Survey, will also conduct this study. TIA members can participate for free in an online survey or series of phone interviews until May 30.

The study will collect data on in-house vs. outsourced functions, trends and expectations for digital and traditional media, and the effectiveness of social media, among other topics. [Read more...]

NPD Report Shows 36 Percent of U.S. Plays Digitally Downloaded Games

According to The NPD Group’s Exploring Digital Gaming report, an estimated 36 percent of the U.S. population ages 13 and up are digital gamers, defined as currently playing digitally downloaded games on either a computer, video game console, or portable device. Of that percentage, 16 percent report only playing games downloaded digitally.

The computer is the most popular device for digital gaming, owning 90 percent of digital gamers playing on the device, while 28 percent play digitally downloaded games on a video game console. Although digital play is increasing among console players, only about two-thirds of primary console players—or those who play on consoles most often—purchase digital games more than once per year. Only 14 percent purchase on a regular, monthly basis.

When asked about their purchase preference if both physical and digital formats of a game are being offered at the same price, 44 percent of primary console players are more likely to choose physical in this scenario. Primary computer players do not automatically choose digital, with the group being split between 25 percent for digital, 28 percent for physical, and the remaining gamers being indecisive.

 

Hasbro Survey Finds 78 Percent of Americans Partying at Home on NYE

For the second year in a row, when the clock strikes Twelve on New Year’s Eve, the majority of Americans plan to ring in the New Year at home instead of out on the town, according to a new survey by Hasbro. Seventy-nine percent of women and 76 percent of men, up from 70 percent last year, will opt for a more low-key celebration. To make the most of a festive night at home, Hasbro recommends some friendly game night competition to get the good times rolling on December 31.

And while most (56 percent) seem to want to keep the competition light and friendly, 81 percent of people ages 18 to 24 admit to “bending the rules” in order to win when playing games. If you’re spending the night in on New Year’s with some family-friendly competition, be sure to upload pictures of your party to the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page or tweet @HasbroGameNight, #HasbroHolidays.

GameStop Survey of Shoppers Reveals Top Priority Gifts

Gamestop

GameStop and research partner Brierley+Partners asked 500 U.S. gift givers what was at the top of their purchase lists this holiday season. The results revealed that 42 percent of shoppers surveyed plan on purchasing video game related items for their children this holiday—including video games, consoles, and accessories.

Gift givers are not only hot on gaming presents this year, but they are also keen on ways to save more money before even making it up to the cash register. Eighty-four percent of shoppers are aware of store and website trade-in programs, and nearly 20 percent planning to use them to help defer gift costs. From old video games and consoles, to smartphones, tablets, and other electronics sitting in drawers and on shelves, GameStop offers instant store credit or cash on a vast range of products.

Additional interesting findings from GameStop’s holiday shopper-centric survey include:

  • Eighty-two percent of shoppers expect to turn to store employees when making purchasing decisions this holiday season.
  • Among shoppers who are planning on purchasing a new gaming console for the holidays, 61 percent expect their children to utilize the system the most.
  • Roughly 30 percent of shoppers expect the entire family to use the new console.
  • When making decisions on which next-generation console and games to buy, shoppers are listening to specific requests from the people they are buying for, with 84 percent taking requests for consoles, and 86 percent taking requests for specific video games.

Cyber Monday Online Shopping Extends Four Days After the Big Day

More than 130 million Americans participated in Cyber Monday this year. Cyber Monday sales reached a record $2 billion, a 20 percent increase since last year. Although Cyber Monday focuses on one day, the other four days this week continue to be peak online shopping days. Check out the infographic below, presented by Blue Fountain Media, for more information. [Read more...]

TIA Seeks Input from Members on Proposed Health Canada Lead Limits

tia_logo[1]Health Canada might expand its requirement limiting total lead content in toys sold or imported to Canada. Currently, the 90 parts-per-million (ppm) lead limit is applicable to toys produced for kids ages 3 and under. The expanded requirement would apply to toys produced for kids up to age 14.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has issued a short survey to learn how this potential requirement might impact the operations of TIA members. The survey asks if the proposed lead content limit would have no impact on companies, and why; would increase testing costs, and by how much on an annual basis; force them to stop selling toys in Canada; or reduce the number of toys sold in Canada.

The survey is available online. Responses are due by October 7. Any questions may be directed to TIA’s Rebecca Mond at (202) 459-0352.

Most Americans Believe Smaller Companies Have Better Customer Service

Four in five Americans (81 percent) believe that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses, according to a new report by the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer. The survey, exploring attitudes and preferences toward customer service, was conducted in the U.S. and nine other countries.

According to the report, 73 percent of respondents said they would be willing to spend more time with a company that they believe provides excellent customer service and 70 percent of Americans are willing to spend an average of 13 percent more money with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. This is up from last year, when 58 percent of Americans said they would spend an average of 9 percent more with companies that deliver greater service.

Overall, most Americans (60 percent) believe businesses haven’t increased their focus on providing good customer service and 26 percent believe companies are actually paying less attention to service.

When there is poor customer service, 78 percent of respondents said they bailed on the transaction. Three out of five Americans (59 percent) said they would try a new brand or company for a better service experience and two out of five Americans (39 percent) said that, in anger, they have threatened to switch to a competitor.