I am grateful for the insights from the latest confidential Toy Association sales data, which is based on May toy sales in Australia. The results reflect what I have seen in newsagency data for the month and the trends in toy businesses are those experienced by newsagents actively engaged in this overall product category.
Through my work with newsXpress I first spoke of opportunities in toys, games and jigsaws five months ago, in terms of sales and the need for broad supplier engagement. Newsagents who were in the space did well as did those who pivoted.
Toys continued to record strong results as May recorded double digit dollar and unit growth. In May, Australia was the fastest growing country in dollar sales +42%, followed by U.S +36%. All 13 supercategories posted dollar growth in the latest month, but only 12 supercategories had double digit growth:Building Sets(+26%), Infant/Toddler/Preschool Toys (+38%), Dolls(+63%), Outdoor & Sports Toys (+71%) , Games/Puzzles (+51%), Vehicles (+53%), Plush (+46%), Explorative & Other Toys (+39%), Arts & Crafts (+47%), Drawing & Craft Supplies (+46%), Youth Electronics(+84 %), Bicycles (+37%). Action Figures & Accesssories was the only category that had single digit growth.
These insights are tremendously valuable to retailers who make business decisions based on data from their businesses and channel-wide data. They reinforce the importance of newsagents playing in categories in addition to the five pillars of tradition: lotteries, papers, magazines, cards and stationery.
Compared to YTD April, YTD May saw 3 additional supercategories growing. Plush, Infant/Toddler/Preschool Toys, Explorative & Other Toys were the 3 additional categories. Building Sets continued to be the largest dollar gainer in the latest YTD and accounted for 32% of total dollar gained followed by Games & Puzzles at 26%.
We can bank on outcomes form leveraging this and other solid data, including trend data from our own businesses.
It does surprise me that there are newsagents yet to embrace games, toys and puzzles. While while what each newsagent stocks is up to them, the evidence of growth opportunities cities in this space have been documented here and elsewhere for many months now and there is no trend of problematic slowdown.
Growth is there for the taking. Not only in toys, puzzles and games but in other categories too, double digit growth that is even more valuable with gross profit % at 50% and more.
While it is challenging reading the news of retail businesses in trouble, for plenty in our channel there is good news if you are forward leaning and flexible in embracing new opportunities.