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Cooperation to increase sales

Emili Alsina, director, Ediciones Just

  • Key4Communications

We started the year with a sense of optimism in the toy industry, after observing the data presented by NPD in computing goblal 2014, with an increase of 3.2% in value. We also see this more positive mood in the retail channel, as the vast majority of those surveyed in the report of the 2014-2015 campaign results by the magazine Juguetes B2B, have maintained sales and even increased them. Still, we have to be cautious about these figures, as some aspects have worsened -such as seasonality, concentrating the last two weeks of campaigning 14.9% of total sales of the year, according to NPD. Moreover, this fact undermines the worrying situation of the Christmas pre-campaign, that loses strength year after year.

Nuremberg, New York and strategies of the toy industry

Added to these, there are other negative factors, such as loss of overall margin -more pronounced in the distribution channels-; the oversupply of products; demographic decline; reduction of the age of playing; and increased competition at all levels. Regarding industry, companies are betting on different strategies to be competitive in very mature market, as the toy one is. After our visits to major international fairs of the toy industry in Nuremberg and New York, we have found that the introduction of new technologies is a fact in most product categories. Licensing has also become one of the main strategies, despite the risk that may incur. Other initiatives that businesses are developing businesses are expanding the range of products and campaigns during the year, in addition to opt for in-house production and export.

For its part, the distribution channels lived the Christmas campaign of Christmas -the same way as manufacturers-, which finally ended not that bad thanks to last minute shopping. Issues such as seasonality and aggressive promotions in the sector remain valid and do not seem to have an easy solution if all the actors that play a role in the sector don't cooperate.

Unpredictable Customers

Finally, the client-buyer is used to some last minute offers and promotions that worsen the concentration of sales in two weeks a year. This client-buyer is unpredictable and makes very difficult for manufacturers to plan the production and to distribution channels to organize the stock.

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