- COVID-19 restrictions, less family gatherings and domestic economy deterioration affected the Christmas season
- The pandemic accelerated online sales and drove the growth of time-consuming games and toys, also for adults
Madrid, 1 February 2021 – The Spanish toy market has closed 2020, a year marked by the COVID-19 crisis, with a turnover of 929 million euros, which represents a decrease of 7% compared to the previous year, according to global information company The NPD Group.
“This is an acceptable result in a difficult trading year, taking into account that stores remained closed for three months during lockdown and when compared with the performance of other industries more affected by the pandemic,” said Fernando Pérez, Country Manager of The NPD Group in Spain.
The Christmas season, which generates more than half of the annual sales, felt the deterioration of many household economies, as well as the progression of the virus in the country, which brought the closure of shops in several regions and limited family gatherings during the holidays, with an impact on gift giving.
Despite the fact that people were urged to shop early for toys in Christmas, the behavior pattern remained intact, and the Spaniards again waited until the last minute to buy their presents: December accounted for 47.6 % of total sales in 2020, a slightly higher weight than in previous years.
Excellent year for puzzles
In order to enjoy and help fill the long weeks at home, Spaniards turned to time-consuming products, not only for children, but also for adults: puzzles, board games, and building sets. Puzzles, which can be enjoyed both in groups and individually, surged by 30%; sales of board games for family fun increased 6%, while building sets grew 5%.
In a year with fewer holiday trips, and after a long period of confinement, sales of summer toys and garden equipment also experienced a significant increase (+28%), including outdoor toys and equipment like slides and trampolines.
There was also a strong advance in fashion dolls (18%), driven by Barbie.
The Mandalorian, Mario Bros. and Harry Potter, licenses on the rise
Licensed market reduced sales by 6%, one point less than the whole industry, thus gaining representation in the total market. Despite the lack of premieres, many licenses showed very positive returns: The Mandalorian, Mario Bros., and Harry Potter stand out for their contribution to growth.
Among the 15 best-selling toys in the country in 2020, there are nine from Spanish manufacturers, which reflects the good performance of the national toy industry.
The ranking also shows a lack of expensive products, as happened last year: “The price positioning of the products in the ranking has been going down; the 30-50 euros range seems to be the norm, when in past years we found much more representativeness in much higher price ranges,” said Pérez.
Online channel doubles its share
Store closings, movement restrictions and the reluctance of many consumers to go shopping boosted Internet toy sales, which grew 63% in the 12 months ending September 2020, according to NPD data. Thus, the online channel almost doubled its weight in the market, from 22% in September 2019 to 40% September 2020, a share that exceeds that of neighboring countries such as France and Italy.
"Manufacturers and retailers worked hard to meet the need for toys of all kinds for all ages, in a year that accelerated the changes that were already underway in the toy sector, such as the omnichannel sales strategy," said Pérez.