We in the United States are well served when we have inside information on other toy markets. I am therefore delighted to report that Yann Fresnel, a top French executive in the Toy & Baby industry, has agreed to write about his home toy market “France” with a complete overview of the 2021 year. Mr. Fresnel bases his comments upon data from NPD, the French Toy Federation, and his observations and opinions.
Yann has 28 years of experience selling Toy & Baby products to retailers and e-retailers in all of Europe. He has worked for companies like Berchet (Smoby), Newell brands, BERG Toys, and Smartrike.
Yann created his own Toy sales consulting firm in May 2021 called “Toy Influence” and is representing foreign Toy firms in Europe and mainly in France. He is doing direct sales & marketing with retailers / e-retailers.
The French toy market delivered strong results in 2021 with a +3% sales growth despite fewer births and some late deliveries in the last part of the year. Total revenue was 3.7 billion Euros, making France the second-largest market in Europe behind Germany but before the UK. Unit volume increased by 5%, but the average spend per toy decreased by 2.2% to 16.5 Euros. For 11 super categories tracked by NPD, eight were up, and three were down (art & craft, dolls, and outdoor). Winners are Games & Puzzles (+12%), Plush (+12%), and Action figures (+7%).
French consumers bought early in October and November (+ 2 digits growth). As a result, December was down 5%. This was due to talk during the summer about transport price increases and possible late deliveries at the end of the year. Ultimately, it was not a disaster, goods were, for the most part, available, and prices were maintained.
It was not easy for retailers and toy suppliers as prices for raw material and transportation increased due to supply chain difficulties. Due to the increase in costs, margins came under stress.
It’s important to know that the ”Made in France” is still growing and is now 14% of total sales (+2,4%), and Kid-adult games are really booming, representing 20% of total sales. (+54% for age 12+, stable for age -11y)
Retailers, JOUE CLUB or LA GRANDE RECRE ran Special Kid-Adult Christmas catalogs in December. Toy store sales were up 9%, while Hypermarkets finished down 1%. KING JOUET and MAXI TOYS combined (PRENATAL purchased both companies in 2020) and doing 400 Million Euros TO. They had a very good year and have 12% MS now.
Hypermarkets have been doing less in recent years, and non-food sections are being operated by specialists (CASINO with LA GRANDE RECRE as an example).
French online sales and others decreased by 3% after strong growth in 2020 (shops were closed some months due to lock downs). E-commerce represents approximately 30% of total sales.
The Lego Group (up), Hasbro (down), and Mattel (up) are leading the top 3 players. ASMODEE had a very good year with POKEMON.
Licensed toys represented 23% of French sales (+8%) due to POKEMON, HARRY POTTER, and PAW PATROL growth.
In 2022, we should see the following trends: Eco-friendly games, second choice Toys, well-being due to COVID, and Dinosaurs due to the JURASSIC WORLD movie in June 2022.France: 2021 Market Results