In a few weeks, we will begin the process of getting back to business, and the question to be answered is: “What products will be in demand?”
Here are my predictions for what category of toys will and will not be in demand this fourth quarter.
5 CATEGORIES THAT WILL INCREASE IN SALES
1. Toys That Children Can Play With On Their Own
Parents are going to be exhausted from entertaining their children while at the same time attempting to work from home. Toys that do not involve parent engagement will, therefore, be highly popular.
2. Baby products
We will more than likely see an uptick in births as spouses find ways to entertain themselves that do not involve game nights. Births will result, and we will, therefore, see a surge in the sale of baby products beginning in October and November of this year.
3. Soft dolls and plush toys
Children pick up on their parent’s moods, and they sense the level of tension at home and in the world. Everyone needs to hug and be hugged when things get tough, and kids, in particular, want to nurture and be nurtured. For that reason, children and their parents will be looking for comfort, and their parents will accommodate them by buying them soft products like soft dolls and plush.
4. Outdoor play
It will be getting cold in November, and December but children and their parents are going to want to be active and outside. Toys that involve gross muscle movement will be in demand. Look for wheeled vehicles, footballs, basketballs, and any kind of ball to be flying off the shelves.
5. Toys that Involve in-person group play
After weeks of being with their families, children will want to play, in-person, with their friends. Their parents will wish for that as well. Products that involve unsupervised group play will be desirable.
5 CATEGORIES THAT WILL DECLINE IN SALES
1. Construction toys, puzzles, and games
According to NPD, puzzles, games, and construction toys have experienced triple-digit growth over the last few weeks of our current entombment at home. That means that when the economy gets back in motion, there is going to be a great deal of in-home inventory in those product categories. Also, children and parents will want to celebrate their new-found freedom by playing with anything that does not remind them of their forced internment.
Accordingly, I am predicting that puzzles, games, construction toys will see declines through the rest of 2020.
2. Educational Toys
Parents and children are currently getting a whole new appreciation for teachers. Parents are aggressively purchasing workbooks and educational toys as a way of teaching their children while school is out. Come this fourth quarter, there will be an over-sized inventory of educational products in people’s homes, and no one is going to want to touch them.
3. Fashion Dolls, and Action Figures
If you are a parent who has been out of work, you will still want to buy your child a toy. The question will be how many toys, and that means some of the mainstays like Fashion Dolls and Action Figures are going to face an increase in demand but a lack of money in wallets and pocketbooks to meet that demand. Parents will pick and choose, and fewer toys per child will mean some toys are going to suffer.
4. Entertainment based products
New movie releases have been delayed or canceled. As a result, movie-themed toys will struggle as the toys will be arriving in the stores out of sync with the new release dates.
Collectible toys have been on a long hot-streak. Collecting, however, is mostly a sedentary experience. The combination of fatigue with the play pattern and a desire to be active rather than sedentary will suppress sales.
These are my predictions. What are yours?