The British toys market has seen a decline in sales for the past few years even though the market value remained at GBP 3.4 billion. There are several factors believed to contribute to the decline, including the increasing number of underperforming toy lines to the overall effect of Brexit.
The BTHA or British Toy and Hobby Association also expressed their concerned regarding the alarming presence of numerous toys that flood the British market, resulting in disruption of both performance and revenues. It is believed that in 2017 alone, more than GBP 400 million worth of sales were lost due to the existence of these counterfeit toys.
However, there are still some bright areas in the industry in spite of the recent decline. Collectable toys, for instance, saw an increase in sales of up to 17%. This segment is specifically dominated by Fingerlings. Collectables also make up 9% of the UK toys market in general in 2017, with 19% toy units sold.
Key Statistics in the British Toy Industry
Here are a few statistics you should know regarding the British toy industry:
- British parents now change their views when it comes to the use of electronic screens and toys for entertainment. During the BTHA Toy Fair, 75% of surveyed parents claimed that too much screen time will make their kids less sociable. Around 65% of parents also stated that their kids will become less active if they spend more time on electronic screens.
- In 2017, about 37% of British parents said that their kids now spend less time playing traditional toys as compared to the length of time they spent the previous year.
- Around 63% of UK parents stated that they felt like the unstructured play with traditional toys was critical for their child’s development.
- There are 84% of parents who said that they implemented limits on the number of hours that their children spend on the screen every day.
- In 2015, the United Kingdom’s turnover of games and toys manufactured went up to GBP 469 million.
- Even though the value of the British toys market declined in 2017, this was still higher compared to that in 2011. Some firms also operate in the market that rose to 564 enterprises from 500 enterprises.
- GBP 16.5 billion was spent in 2010 on toys, hobbies, and games. GBP 21.83 billion was spent on the same items in 2016.
- There are more than 600 retailers that currently operate in the UK toy industry’s sales chain. Around 13,000 people became directly employed due to this industry segment.
- The UK’s toy retailing generated revenues of GBP 2 billion as a way to support the local economies. Starting from the year 2013 up 2018, the yearly growth in this market segment was 1.3% on average.
- Around GBP 360 on the average was spent on every child aged 0 to 9 for brand new toys within a year. GBP 8.95 is the average price of purchased new toys.
- Approximately 36% of toy sales that took place in the UK are online sales. The click and collect sales increased at a yearly rate of 14%. This only shows that locations of physical stores remain crucial for the industry as a whole.
- At revenues of GBP 3.4 billion in 2017, the UK became the 4th biggest toy market in the world. In spite of the declines being experienced, growth rates back in 2016 were able to surpass what the United States and France achieved in their respective toy industries.
- It was estimated that 50% of sales that happen in the British toys market every year occur during the 8 weeks prior to the Christmas holiday.
- The toy industry currently employs around 220,000 people in the EU-28. The biggest share of such opportunities is found in the UK.
- 99% of active companies in the toy industry in Europe are regarded as SMEs. Meanwhile, 88% of companies are micro-enterprises that employ 10 people or fewer.
- 60% of toys found in the United Kingdom industry are recently developed products every year. In a particular year, 90% of toymakers will launch a minimum of one brand new product in the market as compared to the 40% average in the global industry.
- More than 400 million units are being sold by the British toy industry every year.
- The negative reviews directly affect toy sales happening online. Around 51% of parents claim that they feel frustrated when trying to search for a good toy online every time they go shopping.
- There are 72% of parents that state that the toy’s quality is the main deciding factor as to whether they will buy it or not. 48% of parents claim that they check the ratings of the toy or read reviews about it online.
Analysis and Trends in the UK Toy Market
There are a few uncertainties that have a negative effect on the UK toy market. From the rise of counterfeit toys from Asia-Pacific countries to the Brexit, the industry is having a hard time securing a solid footing right now. Even though the previous decade has seen a positive trend starting from 2015 up to 2018, some segments are still struggling to perform well.
Due to these concerns, the present 5-year forecast for the British toy industry shows an expected decline with an average of 0.2%.
Some influences in the industry of UK toys, including the development of new toys or movie franchises, may be able to do something to alter the negative forecast. Most of the franchises expected to garner positive gains, specifically those from Disney, weren’t able to meet expectations. Combine this with the growth of mobile devices, gaming consoles, and electronics, even those parents who have limited their children’s screen time weren’t able to help the industry to enjoy a boost.
Toys will always be around. The British toys market has a secure future. However, its value and distribution to the country’s economy might raise some questions in the next 5 years or so.