Home Blog Blog | Can Black Friday Reshape the European Toy Market?

The NPD Group Blog

Insights and Opinions From Analysts and Experts in More Than 20 Industries

Blog | Can Black Friday Reshape the European Toy Market?

Can Black Friday reshape the European toy market?

Dec 13, 2016
Frédérique Tutt, Global Industry Analyst ;
Toys

Black Friday is not a tradition in Europe.

In fact, it makes no cultural sense. We do not celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a working day. We do not rise at dawn to shop the Friday after Thanksgiving. It is a working day.

“What is Black Friday?” my mother asked me this year. “Explain it to me.”

Fair question.

But even though it makes no sense, Black Friday has become an event in Europe. It’s just a different event. Not only is it often called Black Friday in English, rather than, say, Vendredi Noir, but confusingly, it often doesn’t refer to a Friday at all. In the U.S., Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November, and Black Friday is specifically the day after. Here in Europe, we have Black Friday weekend sales or even Black Friday week sales.

Still, the concept seems to be catching on. More and more European retailers are participating, and some are reporting increased shopping. Argos, the largest retailer for toys in the U.K., reported that online sales were up 50% over Black Friday 2015.

And that raises some interesting questions for the European toy market. In the U.S., Black Friday is traditionally known as the day that retailers start to turn a profit (hence the name, as they move from red ink to black ink). It is the day that kicks off the holiday shopping season, with toys a huge part of that. Could Black Friday do the same in Europe?

If so, it could spread out toy sales over more weeks, which could be a particular boon in markets where consumers are known to shop at the last minute, such as Spain. This would not only help retailers resupply, which is impossible in a last-minute rush, but could it also increase the actual market size? With more weeks spent shopping, might people actually buy more?

Or could it delay consumers even further as they wait for the massive discounts before starting their holiday shopping and reduce market size as a result?

In the U.S., big-ticket items and electronics do particularly well on Black Friday. Might Black Friday change the mix of toys bought in Europe? Already, electronics retailers such as Currys PC World are reporting Black Friday sales in Europe up 40% over 2015.

And then there’s me. I shopped on Black Friday. I spent more than I planned on gifts for my children, but I also got more than I expected. I’m much poorer, but I’m a happy shopper. The data seems to indicate that I’m not alone.



Related Blog Posts


March 21, 2018

Global Toy Industry Opportunities Amid Toys“R”Us Closure

The global toy industry is bracing itself and trying to work out what this ‘reset’ will mean. Who will benefit from Toys “R”Us’ demise; and if it happens globally, which retailers will see this disruption as an opportunity, country by country?

March 19, 2018

What Toys‟R”Us Closing Means for the Toy Industry

Crunching the numbers, The NPD Group’s Juli Lennett sets the record straight on what will likely happen to the toy industry when Toys‟R”Us closes all its doors in the U.S.

March 1, 2018

Post-Toy Fair Blues

Globally, fewer toys were sold during Holiday 2017 than 2016. Why? How can this be overturned? Frédérique Tutt explores how parents shopped, and what opportunities lie between the challenges facing the toy industry today.

November 21, 2017

Let’s Reconsider Discounting Toys for Christmas

Rather than discount toys during Christmas, the industry needs to consider occasions outside of this peak season to generate growth. From Women’s Day to Chinese New Year, there are examples around the globe.

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View our privacy policy.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.