Richard Gottlieb: JFK Airport
I, like hundreds of others in the toy industry, am on my way to Hong Kong. This annual migration of buyers, sellers and, yes, consultants is the moment that expectations of the New Year confront the results of the old one.
I would anticipate some long faces in Hong Kong as retail sales were lackluster for the year and the key Christmas selling season. On the other hand, from what I am hearing, in-store inventories are low relative to last year. That could mean more open to buy dollars and buyer confidence.
I intend to find out how things are shaping up. Accordingly, I have lots of questions and here are some of the ones I hope to answer while in Hong Kong:
- What impact will the poor sales in 2012 have on demand and therefore prices in 2013?
- Will retailers be making big bets on products or will they, like last year, hold back on building too much inventory?
- How will retailers react to toy companies whose products did not perform? Will they spend their open to buy elsewhere?
- Are toy departments going to shrink or expand?
- How creative are this year's batch of toys? Are there any potential fads and hot toys.
- Finally, what questions do you want answered? Write in and let me know.
Stay tuned; I will tell you what I find out.