Accounting for $7 Billion of U.S. Toy Industry Sales, Grandparents Hold Considerable Spending Power, According to NPD

Grandparents’ Online Spend is Growing at a Faster Rate than Other Toy Consumers

Port Washington, NY, September 27, 2018 – Grandparents account for about one-quarter of sales, or nearly $7 billion, within the $28 billion U.S. toy industry, according to findings from The NPD Group’s latest report, The Power of Grandparents within the U.S. Toy Industry.

Compared to other consumer segments, the market for grandparents is stealing the spotlight in more ways than one. While parents spend the most on toys, grandparents’ spending growth in the last 12 months exceeded nearly all other consumer segments, including parents. In addition, grandparents’ online spend has grown at a faster rate than any other toy consumers. 

“The toy industry is amidst unprecedented change, and toy retailers and manufacturers are leaving no stone unturned as they look to succeed and carve out additional space for themselves in the new retail environment. The market for grandparents is often overlooked, but holds tremendous opportunity. I expect this segment will continue to grow as Baby Boomers’ children, who are mostly Millennials, enter parenthood,” said Juli Lennett, senior vice president and industry advisor, Toys, The NPD Group.

With over one-third of grandparents’ toy sales going towards kids ages 2-4, grandparents over-index on shopping for categories that cater to younger ages – particularly infant/toddler/preschool toys and outdoor & sports toys (bubble toys/solution, playground equipment, and ride-ons). 

In terms of how grandparents are making their purchases, 85 percent shopped in a physical store for toys in the last year, while 72 percent shopped online. However, the online channel is growing more than two-times faster for grandparents compared to the rest of the market, and grandparents spend 3.5 times more per toy online than they do in-store. In addition, over 60 percent of grandparents that previously shopped at Toys“R”Us report that they will be shopping for toys online in the future.

“Retailers and manufacturers seeking to reach more grandparents need a solid online strategy. On top of that, as more grandparents migrate to the online channel post-Toys“R”Us, there is an important opportunity here to grow grandparent dollars,” said Lennett.


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