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No. 147  January/February 2014


Retail Licensing Pre-School Marketing


33 Toy Titans We shine the spotlight on some of the most influential bosses in the trade


49 30 Under 30 Discover the stars of the future – from PR and marketing to sales execs and journalists


64 Trumped up Winning Moves reveals the secret to success for the Top Trumps brand and what’s next


75 Quarter masters We take a look at what to expect from this year in licensing - quarter by quarter


Toy trade bullish about 2014


Over 80 per cent of independent and multiple stores tell ToyNews they feel confident about the year ahead By Billy Langsworthy


THE VAST majority of toy retailers are optimistic about business in 2014. In our annual retail


survey, 81.25 per cent of stores told ToyNewsthat they are confident about the health of their business heading into this year. Stores cited their quality customer service, the rise of in-store events and strong product lines as reasons to be cheerful. “We’ve got our own line


of products on the way, so we’re confident,” one store told ToyNews, while another said: “There is competition in our area with Smyths and The Entertainer, but we will always win on service, so it should be a good year.” Our findings back up those of The National Institute of Economic and Social Research, which forecasts UK growth will increase to two per cent this year following 1.4 per cent in 2013.


81.25% Confident about


2014 50%


Say business was better in 2013 than 2012


In addition, 50 per cent of toy shops said that


business had been better in 2013 than in 2012, thanks to highlights including Furby, LEGO, Minecraft and Magic the Gathering. Most retailers surveyed also told ToyNewsthat 2014 looks like being a good year as they are


68.75%


Saw Christmas sales better or the same as 2012


coming off the back of a successful festive period. The British Retail Consortium's latest numbers state that UK High Street stores have suffered their biggest drop in shopper numbers for more than a year thanks to what was a slow start to the festive retail season.


13.75%


Say online is the biggest challenge they face


However, the toy sector appears to have bucked this particular trend, as despite the report of a 3.4 per cent annual drop in footfall from September to November 2013, 68.75 per cent of retailers said that their Christmas takings were better, or the same, as in 2012.


One store said: “We did a Christmas club which really helped”, while another offered: “It’s been getting better and better as Christmas gets closer”. While our survey shows much optimism in the toy space, (most retailers told us they are happy with their own job when asked for their dream role in the industry), 11.25 per cent of stores said they were not confident about business moving into this year. Major challenges cited included online competition, the bills of running a toy shop and finding new and exciting


products to fill the shelves. “Internet competition is


growing, as well as the multiples slashing their prices,” said one store manager. Meanwhile, product wise,


the return of Tamagotchi, Minecraft and The LEGO Movielook likely to be highlights of 2014.  Turn to page 43 for the full ToyNews Retail Survey.


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