The toy sector is preparing for a Christmas with a 4% drop in sales | Economy



Santa Claus and the Magi will be a little less rumbus this year than last year, at least according to El Corte Inglés, one of the main toy distributors in Spain. According to the data of the chain of department stores, coming from the consultant NPD, the turnover of the sector will remain this 2018 4% below the 1,160 million euros last year. It tries to sprint the company to surpass those numbers in a few days that concentrate 70% of the sales of toys in the sector, concentrated mainly in the weeks previous to Christmas and Kings.

Jacobo Fernandez, responsible for purchases of toys from El Corte Ingles, acknowledged on Thursday in a meeting with journalists that "the market is negative by 4% at the end of the year, until now, the fall in the sector is 3, 8% ". The figures he handled were those of the NPD consultancy, which has data of the main distributors. More optimistic, the Spanish Association of Toy Manufacturers (AEFJ), foresees a growth of between 1 and 2%, even though more modest figures than those of 2017. As for El Corte Inglés, it has stated that it is "better than the market" and that they have made more supplies, but without daring to predict positive figures.

As for the reasons, beyond the clouds that announce slowdown, has focused on the part of the cake that steal the toy technology sections ("children increasingly throw more tablets, phones and video games), mobility ( scooters or hoverboards designed for adults) and sports. He also mentioned the recent negative birth record in Spain and the fact that, unlike other countries, Spanish children leave toys before: "Do not talk to me about children over 12 years old," he lamented.

In any case, expect to reverse the numbers in the days that remain until the day of Kings. If in the Christmas campaign (from the first week of November to January 6) is concentrated 70% of the sales of toys of the year, there is still the bulk of that campaign. According to Fernandez, the week before Christmas concentrates 15% of sales and another 16% occurs on 3, 4 and 5 January. "Despite the campaigns we are doing to deseasonalize and advance the purchase of toys, the Spaniards continue to leave everything for the last day". "Black Friday is not relevant to the toy, except for video games, that day have their peak," he added.

To a large extent, the cargo of Santa Claus and the Magi will arrive via the Internet, a trend that grows year after year. The head of purchases of toys has explained that 20% of the sales of toys of the chain arrives on-line, a percentage much higher than the electronic sale of other sections. "It is the number one online store of El Corte Inglés, and growing to two very high digits," he said.

However, the physical store continues to accumulate most of the sales and, therefore, reinforces its workforce, which doubles, with new hires and transfers from other sections.

The most demanded toys

Fernandez, a great connoisseur of the toy sector, has explained the trends that, in his opinion, will be more successful among children this Christmas. "WOW effect triumphs, the surprise effect, the emulation of unpacking toys", with examples such as small dolls LOL, or other small collectible figures that are presented with wrappings so that the child does not know until the last moment which copy of the collection has touched him.

Experiences such as the figures KsiMeritos, of the Mexican company Distroller, are also successful, which are accompanied by a whole delivery ceremony, with heavy, cutting of the umbilical cord and adoption certificate. Finally, it is anticipated that toys that involve movement, both outdoor and indoor, open the way to overcome the tendency to sedentary children.

According to the data handled by El Corte Inglés, for the first time a Spanish manufacturer Famosa, will reign this year in the domestic market over the classic Matel or Hasbro, thanks to toys such as Nancy, Pin and Pon or Bellies, which "is running out of stock "

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