Ignore The Canadian Toy Market At Your Peril!
Our company works with toy companies around the world. One of our primary services is Export Sales Consultancy. Personally I’ve also worked extensively with North American companies both as an employee and as a Consultant…yet I have to admit (shamefully) that our knowledge of and commitment to the Canadian toy market does not do it justice when compared with other markets around the world where we have extensive dealings.
We are not alone on this either. Canada is often viewed as insignificant when companies look at their export sales strategy, especially when compared with the vast array of riches on offer south of the border in the mighty USA.
Yet based on both public domain and proprietary data we have access to, our estimate is that Canada’s toy market is worth in the region of $2billion USD. This puts Canada somewhere between the 8th -12th largest toy market in the world, and most probably puts it above Spain, Italy, Benelux, Scandinavia, Russia and many others which are beloved of those chasing new and emerging export markets.
Simply put – toy companies who have any interest in export sales can’t afford to ignore the Canadian opportunity. Many of our clients tell us that they cover Canada already via their US based distributors, but there is not always a guarantee that those distributors are paying any attention to the Canadian toy market beyond perhaps a loose partnership with Canadian based wholesalers/distributors. This does not guarantee you will get anywhere near maximising your revenue from the world’s (roughly) 10th biggest toy market. If your US distributor can deliver huge volume via US mass retail, then great, who wouldn’t want that…but eventually your business has to look towards under-exploited opportunities to grow. Moreover, smaller/medium sized companies supplying US mass market retail, whether directly by rep or by distributor tend to see massive swings in fortune from one season’s listings to the next. Fully exploiting the Canadian opportunity can help to offset that swinging pendulum of fortune.
For sure some of the retailers included in the Canadian toy market are US companies, or at least subsidiaries of US companies, but many are not.
We recommend to our clients that they should not be so focused on those precious US Walmart, Target (etc) listings that they ignore low hanging fruit just over the border. We quite often find companies flying around the world to try to set up business in China, India, Brazil, Russia and other difficult to crack markets when they are already leaving considerable opportunity sat unfulfilled much closer to home!
If you have problems finding the right distribution partners to fully access the Canadian toy market, we may be able to help you via our TOYEXPORTBOOSTER™ service http://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/?page_id=285
by Steve Reece, CEO of Kids Brand Insight www.KidsBrandInsight.com, a leading Consultancy to toy, game and kids entertainment companies around the world, which helps companies find the right toy & game factories, consumer research test their products with kids and parents and secure export distribution/market entry around the world.