As the toy industry looks to the back half of the year for a sales spike, new data is reflecting more of the challenges brought on by COVID-19.
The recent 16% spike for the toy industry was driven largely by sales of stock-on-hand, while individual toymakers have charted sales declines due in part to a reduction in orders of new product. This pattern extends to the rest of the consumer products and retail industry as a whole, as shown in the latest Global Port Tracker report issued by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.
Retail shipments for June were up 4.9% from May, but down 10.5% from last year. Looking ahead with revised estimates for the rest of the year, NRF believes that retail shipments may wind up down 9.4% for 2020, which will result in the lowest number of imports since 2016.
“The economy is recovering but retailers are being careful not to import more than they can sell,” says NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold. “Shelves will be stocked, but this is not the year to be left with warehouses full of unsold merchandise. The more Congress does to put spending money in consumers’ pockets and provide businesses with liquidity, the sooner we can get back to normal.”
Peak season for retail imports is experienced in July to October as stores stock up for the holiday selling season.