Port Washington, NY, April 30, 2020 – Toy industry sales increased by 4 percent* in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 (Jan. – March) across the 13 global markets (G13)** tracked by The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Australia experienced the highest percentage growth at 11 percent, followed by Germany (+ 8 percent), United States (+ 8 percent), Russia (+6 percent), UK (+2 percent), and Mexico (+1 percent).
All other countries experienced declines in Q1 due in large part to the limited amount of time many consumers in those countries had to prepare for the lockdowns as non-essential retailers were forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Total industry growth for the quarter was driven by the 8 percent sales increase across the G13 in March, which marked the beginning of social isolation, lockdowns and movement restrictions across the globe. The U.S. market was responsible for 80 percent of the gains, with Germany, Australia, the U.K. and the Netherlands being the only other countries recording growth for the month.
“The earlier date for Easter in 2020 had a small impact on the results, but the majority of the sales gains were the result of the stay at home orders across the globe,” said Frédérique Tutt, Global Toys Industry Analyst at The NPD Group. “The nature of the local retail environment was also a factor. In many countries, non-essential stores were ordered to shut down, which resulted in sales shifting online to the benefit of some retailers able to provide a delivery service or curbside pick-up at the store location.”
With little differences by country, consumers in lockdown turned to Games and Puzzles more than any other supercategory, making it the best performing supercategory for the quarter (+44 percent) and the top-gaining one. Four other supercategories recorded growth: Outdoor & Sports Toys, Arts & Crafts, Building Sets, and Vehicles.
Looking at the top-gaining toy properties across the G13 in the first quarter, Disney Frozen was the largest gaining property, followed by Star Wars, Toy Story, Pokémon, and LEGO Star Wars.
*Source: The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, $ Sales adjusted & projected / January-March 2020
**NPD’s Global Toys footprint covers Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.