Author: Guest Contributor

Toys: Amazon Q3 Update

by :Edge by Ascential View original report here Retailers are battling to win former Toys “R” Us customers. This is the first holiday season without the iconic toy chain, and its absence poses a major opportunity for retailers looking to cement their position as the new go-to toy store for millions of American consumers. When Amazon announced its intentions to pick up what Toys “R” Us put down, it wasn’t subtle about it. In November, Amazon launched the “A Holiday of Play” catalog, clearly designed to fill the void left by the beloved Toys “R” Us catalog, complete with...

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U.S. Market Insights Reveal Black Friday Trends

By Chris Elliott, Edge by Ascential Following the biggest shopping frenzy of the year, U.S. Black Friday sales trends are beginning to emerge. Our insights experts at Edge by Ascential looked at the U.S. ecommerce landscape across a range of categories, as well as the tactics of some of the region’s largest online retailers. We can report early findings in pricing and promotional activity for the U.S.’s most sought-after seasonal buys. Online spending increased 14.8 percent this year to $124.1 billion (Adobe Analytics). Although this is just 0.1 percent higher than the increase last year, consumer confidence has reached a near...

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NRF Says Young Adults Most Likely to Spend More This Holiday Season

Consumers will take advantage of Thanksgiving weekend deals—especially millennials and members of Gen Z—online and in stores, according to a new consumer sentiment survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. While 77 percent of all consumers surveyed said they would spend the same or more this year, 43 percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 and 38 percent of those 25 to 34 said they would spend more. Only 9 percent of those 65 and older are planning to spend more. The survey found that 50 percent of consumers who own smartphones or...

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The Toy Association Surveys Members to Gauge Sears, Kmart Risk

The Toy Association continues to closely monitor court activity and news related to Sears Holdings Corp.’s bankruptcy proceedings, including developments as the company passes through the holiday selling season and as it seeks both financing and asset sales to avoid liquidation. Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Oct. 15, listing $6.9 billion in assets and a significant and concerning $11.3 billion in liabilities, according to court filings. Sears Holding also announced the closing of 142 of its 700 stores by the end of the year (in addition to 46 previously announced store closures), throwing into doubt the future...

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How Retailers Can Have a Successful Holiday Season

Image: Newsday by Dax Dasilva, Lightspeed  It seems like the holidays sneak up on us every year. It’s not that we don’t know that they’re not coming, but in a lot of cases, it’s not something that we plan for as early as we should. If you’ve been in the toy business for any amount of time, you know holidays are the biggest season for toy retailers. According to the NPD Group, nearly 50 percent of all toy sales occur at this time of year. Using inventory, employee, and sales data effectively can have a substantial, positive impact on a...

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Toy Industry: The Spanish Market

THOUGHTS ON THE CURRENT TOY MARKET From JUGUETES Magazine, Spain The Spanish toy market is currently immersed in a whole new scenario. The economic results from 2017 were not what the industry expected, and that influenced activity this year, which will also impact next year. Meanwhile, society is experiencing big changes that are affecting companies’ results, in addition to a low birth rate and the effect the Internet is having on consumption. With this new gradual paradigm, industry actors are expected to have more agility when it comes to giving answers and responding to new consumer demands.  With this...

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Smart Packaging Tool Now Available to Toy Association Members

by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association The Toy Association worked with The Walt Disney Co. to bring Disney’s Smart Packaging Initiative (SPI) to Toy Association members. The SPI is an online design tool to help improve the environmental performance of toy packaging and create a better experience for consumers.  A November 8 webinar will provide toy companies with in-depth details on the tool, including instructions for access and a step-by-step guide for using the platform to design smart packaging and compare their packaging’s environmental score against industry benchmarks. The webinar is open to all toy industry professionals. Did You Know? One-third of...

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Toy Association, NPD Group Provide New Research on U.S. Collectibles Toy Market

by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association Looking to learn more about how to compete in the U.S. toys collectibles market? The Toy Association reached out to The NPD Group to conduct in-depth research that will help companies take a deep dive into the popular toy category.   “Kids love toys in blind bags, regular and rare mini-figures, or those playthings with an unboxing component, especially as toymakers continue to offer fresh and unique collectibles that appeal to all ages and interests,” said Anne McConnell, The Toy Association’s senior director of market research and data strategy. “This big trend has reverberated across...

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How to Make Your Dream Toy Happen

by WENDY SMOLEN, founder, wendysmolen.com Israeli startup Particula recently re-imagined the Rubik’s Cube, originally created in 1974 and considered one of the most popular toys ever made. Like Rubik’s, the GoCube challenges players to configure 54 colored blocks on a cube. The difference is that GoCube uses technology to enable players to compete around the world, offers instructions and helpful hints, and, for advanced gamers, has a timer and move analysis. The “aha!” moment came when a group of engineers idly playing with an original Rubik’s Cube wondered why they couldn’t play together. Research, development, invention, and fundraising ensued....

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The Changing Retail Landscape and the Importance of Influencers

Tips from a Small Entrepreneurial Entertainment Company by JOCHEM VAN RIJN, co-president, YULU I started YULU about three years ago with Thijmen de Schipper, my close college friend, shortly after we completed our graduate study in business at the University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. We were both sports fans, so our very first product was an outdoor paddle game called Helix Fun. The paddles were made from wood and we manufactured the product in the Netherlands, where we were both living at the time. We didn’t know anything about the toy business, retail sales, or even how to manufacture...

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