Toys are an essential item, no matter what Amazon says.
The toy industry, and Hasbro in particular, received a surprising lift with this morning’s headline on CNBC: “Hasbro shares soar as CEO cites ‘great demand’ for toys, notes China supply chain coming back.” The article reports that Hasbro shares are up 12%, an increase that appears to have come from Brian Goldner’s appearance on the highly influential Squawk Box television show.
Brian told the audience that Hasbro was experiencing high demand for its products due to children being home and out of school. The article quotes him as follows: “…Demand for Hasbro’s games, such as Monopoly and Operation, and Play-Doh have been particularly strong. He said the company is also planning new products in response to the widespread “stay-at-home” directives being issued across the country.”
Although demand for toys and games has seen a sharp increase in recent days (primarily through e-commerce), not all stocks have had Hasbro’s good fortune. As of writing this (March 23 at 3:42 PM), Mattel, JAKKS, Spin Master, Funko, and Build-a-Bear Workshop are all down.
In my opinion, all toy stocks should be up. Toys have historically proven to be a safe-haven during economic downturns, and this time appears to be no different. In fact, never before have so many children, around the world, been at home at the same time.
The bottom line is this: Toys are an essential item, no matter what Amazon says.