A slight increase, despite the difficult year we have gone through. This is the forecast of toy manufacturers, who hope to record a Christmas campaign with a slight growth of 2% in sales, at a time that represents 60% of total annual sales. This year the sales trend of dolls continues, a "classic" of Christmas in the Spanish market, followed by construction games and board games, which maintain their position in the market after the pandemic.
This is explained by the general director of the Spanish Association of Toy Manufacturers (AEFJ), José Antonio Pastor, in statements to Europa Press Television, who assures that the year "has not been very positive", but he highlights that, even so, when When Christmas arrives, the toy becomes a "basic and indispensable" good.
In this sense, it emphasizes that the Christmas campaign in Spain "continues to be very concentrated", since it takes place "in just about three weeks", which makes the national market "the most seasonal in the European Union." .
Thus, he points out that the week of Three Kings is the one that can "grow or decrease by 1%" with respect to the entire year, depending on "whether the sales volume on those days goes well or badly." "We risk everything in a few weeks," she said.
The Christmas campaign is "fundamental" for a toy sector that has had to face several crises since the appearance of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, followed by a major supply crisis, to the current inflationary context and war conflicts in Europe and the Middle East.
"We live in a globalized world and anything anywhere in the world can paralyze global trade. Situations that cannot be foreseen and that make management very difficult in sectors as seasonal as ours, in which you are manufacturing and storing all the year to sell it in just a few weeks," adds Pastor.
The price increase is another of the factors that marks the 2023 Christmas campaign in the toy sector, a year that manufacturers describe as "complex." "We are trying to adapt to the new reality of the market because the circumstances are what they are and we have been adapting our production to this new scenario," explains the CEO of the toy brand Injusa, located in the Alicante town of Ibi. , Luis Verdegal.
From AEFJ they estimate the toy consumer price index (CPI) for the month of October at an increase of 0.8%, compared to the general CPI data which reaches up to 3.4%, so it would be "very below the rest of the market.
Even so, from the sector they affirm that they have had to make "efforts to contain the rise in prices" and offer a competitive product in a "difficult" economic context for families, and thus encourage that "no child is left without their toys under your Christmas tree."
For this reason, he emphasizes that at this time toys become a "basic, indispensable and necessary" good in homes where there are children. Something that can help move consumption and slightly increase sales in the last three weeks of the campaign, in which only in the week of Three Kings can accumulate 10% of annual sales.
At the Injusa toy factory, in Ibi, they assure that this year's Christmas campaign is being delayed "much more" compared to previous years, to which is added contracted sales due to a smaller budget among the families that it moves "a lot" away from pre-pandemic sales levels.
"For us it is not viable to apply the price increase to our products because sales would fall substantially. What we are trying to do is, in some way, optimize our processes much more to try to maintain the price or keep the increase minimal," he explained. the CEO of Injusa. The toy sector has noticed a "very withdrawn" consumer trend in European Union countries, such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States. A behavior that can cause exports to "end up 2% or 3% negative," according to the general director of AEFJ.