Results for the “2021 Beginning of the Year Survey”

We have our results for the “2021 Beginning of the Year Survey.” Our purpose was to determine what the consensus was on the just-completed year and the one to come. Here are the questions and your answers:

I found this response to be of interest because, based upon NPD reporting (industry up 16%) the industry had a fantastic year. The responses to this survey question indicate that more than half of respondents (54%) said their business was flat or down. The NPD numbers are skewed towards the larger retailers so our results appear to be closer to how the industry as a whole experienced the year.

Our industry is built on optimism, which can be seen in the almost 60% of respondents who predict they will have an up year.

We have been hearing that carryover inventory has been low. This survey supports that notion as only a little less than 18% ended the year with more inventory than in 2019.

Predicting what Covid-19 will do or what the government will do about it is hazardous going. The toy industry seems to be split on what is to come. If you are a “glass is half-full person,” then you will be comforted to know that 64.7% of respondents either think it will “Benefit the toy industry” or “Neither hurt nor benefit the toy industry.”

How does the industry feel about the absence of trade shows in January and February? Surprisingly, at least to me, almost 57% thought it either made no difference or was actually good for business.

Those who actually manufacture in China (those who responded) indicate they are either keeping all of their manufacturing in China or only moving some out of the country.

The toy industry is feeling the heat from spiraling container costs and backed up ports of entry. This response shows that almost 75% of respondents expect the supply chain challenges to be with us through 2021.

We’ve come a long way in a short time from television advertising dominating marketing budgets. Advertising is steadily shifting towards alternative platforms, with more than 25% indicating that they were moving 50% or more of their budget to TikTok, YouTube, and other platforms.

I was somewhat surprised that more respondents didn’t see the number three retailer, Amazon, as extremely important to their business.

And this may be the reason why. The majority of respondents felt that doing business with Amazon was harder or no different than doing business with bricks and mortar retailers. It seems like Amazon has some work to do with the toy industry.

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