STRAP IN FOR A TURBULENT Q4 IN THE TOY BUSINESS
We’re heading into the ‘sharp’ end of the year for the toy trade, with a challenging cocktail of price increases, varying levels of inventory and consumers hungry to provide good times for their families after more than a year and a half of a grinding pandemic.
Things are certainly going to be ‘interesting’ this Christmas season! The good news though is that consumer demand remains strong, and at no other time in living memory have hard times (economically or otherwise) lead to a decrease in toy demand.
So, what’s going to happen? Well, we can expect the hottest toys to sell out even earlier than usual. We can also expect inventory in retail to be cleaner than it ever has been before, and we can also (hopefully) start to see the softening of the supply chain issues that have plagued the toy business in 2021 as we start to look forward to 2022.
Hopefully we won’t see too many containers of toys arriving after the peak sales window, because with toys being in and out in a single selling year so often, stock arriving after season is not a recipe for success.
In the UK, retailers The Entertainer and Smyths have warned consumers to buy their toy gifts as early as possible this year to avoid disappointment. In the USA, MGA Entertainment’s CEO Isaac Larian has warned consumers of a toy shortage, as has Jay Foreman of Basic Fun.
Q4 is usually frenetic in our business, but this year will be more frenetic than ever as available stock sees more demand than ever before.
One way or another though, our ever-resilient business will come through this, and we can expect to see at least a little softening of the shipping issues which have been so bad this year as we head into 2022, with more containers available, buying patterns returning to more usual patterns and general adaptation across supply chains.
We run a Consultancy business helping toy & games companies get ahead. For more information, check out www.KidsBrandInsight.com/services
Our Managing Director, Steve Reece, works with a limited number of companies as a non-executive director, independent board director and as a board advised. If you are interested in finding out more about this, check out the link to our service above.