Cinnamon should be a particularly stylish pony. The American toy company supplies 26 accessories to garnish and decorate Hasbro the artificial four-legged friend from its Furreal series for the Christmas business. The animal masters 80 noises, and if it gets a kiss, then a little red lamp lights up under the fur of its cheek.
The German animal figure manufacturer Schleich countered this with his Sofia’s Beauties horses, which can even be taken to the children’s room hairdresser, hair clips are included, and if the use of the scissors goes wrong, replacement manes can be bought.
Something with animals – that seems to be the trend in the toy market. The toy industry has prepared itself for this year’s Christmas business with a veritable zoo of products. However, it is uncertain whether Cinnamon’s faithful gaze will make parents and grandparents particularly generous with regard to the children in the family. However, it already seems certain that the toy industry, which celebrated records during the corona pandemic, will have to cope with a significant setback in 2022. Rising energy costs and general inflation are dampening consumer sentiment.
5 percent less sales expected
Steffen Kahnt, the managing director of the toy dealer association BVS, is convinced: “The child is the last thing to save on.” After all, nobody wants to christmas eve give up the gift of being able to look into bright children’s eyes. But his forecast has a negative sign: Spending on toys in local shops and on online portals is likely to fall by 5 percent year-on-year in 2022 to 4.7 billion euros.
According to market researcher Npdgroup, retail sales were already 5 percent down on the previous year’s figures by the end of October. The reason why the minus is not bigger is that the year started extremely well – before Russia’s attack on Ukraine and before the rise in energy costs.
However, Kahnt rejects the fact that buyers are running away from the industry in the year of toy animals. The pandemic led to record annual sales of 4.9 billion euros in 2021. “Now the market is normalizing again. It’s nonsense to say that people don’t buy toys anymore,” he says. The forecast issued means that the sales from the pre-Corona year 2019 will be significantly exceeded and the level of 2020 can be reached.
And for specialist dealers in city centers and shopping centers, there are even signs that they are regaining market shares that they had lost to online portals and supermarkets with toy shelves due to forced closures and conditions in the pandemic. Kahnt’s message: There will be no lack of sales at Christmas.
Traders have larger inventories
But that is by no means to say that the Germans buying Christmas presents will become an economic festival for the toy industry. Retailers face higher costs for lighting and heating their shop areas. And they have filled their warehouses – lots of goods that now have to be sold. With the pre-orders, retailers wanted to prevent customers from standing in front of empty shelves again shortly before Christmas. Last year there were difficulties in obtaining supplies due to supply chain bottlenecks.