This year’s Black Friday fell a little short of optimal results for the toy industry. Retailers of various industries have been experiencing light traffic, and black friday was not an exception. So what is the fate of the toy industry in these final weeks of 2015?
NPD reported earlier this year that sales in the toy industry grew 6.5% in the first half of 2015, and thus will put 2015 in an overall sales growth of 6.2% after the holidays. Unfortunately, these figures don’t seem to be ringing true. According to bloomberg business, consumers are becoming more and more likely to spend money on experience and services rather than material things.
A possible foreshadowing of the toy industry’s success, was this year’s closing of FAO Schwarz and now the Times Square Toys R Us. After almost 15 years, Toys R Us of Times Square will not be renewing their lease come January 2016. CEO, David Brandon, says after seeing over a decade of challenges against big box stores such as Target and Walmart, the company had to re strategize. Thus, the cut back on their almost $2million a month location in Times Square.
Although numbers thus far aren’t promising there is still hope for this quarter. So what can retailers expect to see going forward this holiday season? Motion pictures, inevitably, will always increase toy sales, assuming there’s a product. The new Star Wars movie, set to be released December 18th comes at the perfect time. With Star Wars being the most anticipated movie of the year, retailers are positioning themselves for the fans that span across generations. Toy experts expect the Star Wars franchise to bring in between $1billion and $1.5billion to the toy industry this year.
Seeing as the first Star Wars movie was released in 1977 the spectrum of age within the Star Wars fanbase is like none other. While this holiday season there will likely be an overwhelming amount of new Star Wars fans there are still those fans of the 70s, and they too will be looking to collect the new Star Wars toys. Retailers across the industry are packing their shelves with merchandise and are already seeing great sales within the franchise. With over 100 licensees, including Hasbro, Legos and Spinmaster there is an abundance of choices in product for Star Wars fans.
While Black Friday has come and went there’s hope for the coming holiday weeks. Expectations for the success of the Star Wars franchise are immeasurable, but fortunately for the toy industry, likely attainable.