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Countdown conundrum…it’s the Friday Blog!
Richard Gottlieb -- Toy Industry Expert Richard Gottlieb -- Toy Industry Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Friday, November 4, 2022


The clocks have gone back, half-term week is in the rear-view mirror and preview season has officially started – the countdown to Christmas is well and truly underway. It has been great to get out and about this week, and we’ve started to get a glimpse of some of the great new launches which suppliers have got lined up for next year. But inevitably, before we get round to looking at the new lines, everyone wants to start off by discussing what has been happening this year, and the events of the past few months in particular.

I have documented the disappointing sales numbers at the end of September and the early part of October in previous Blogs, so there is no need to dwell on that. Thankfully, suppliers have been echoing the feedback I got from retailers last week – that half-term saw a marked improvement in sales, matching last year’s numbers in many cases. I’ve heard that some retailers are coming back for more stock, where they had previously told suppliers they thought they had enough to last them through to Christmas. About time too, but better late than never.

The key now is to maintain that momentum over the next seven weeks. Yesterday’s toy segment on This Morning and next week’s DreamToys event should help to get the toy market plenty of valuable publicity, but another key factor at the moment seems to be retail promotions. By all accounts, as soon as a retailer drops the price of a line, they see an immediate – and significant – upturn in sales. Consumers are waiting and watching closely for deals, pouncing on offers as soon as they are sufficiently enticing. You can’t really blame them: inventory levels mean there is relatively little risk of them not getting what they want, and consumers are balancing expenditure to get as much as they can with the funds they have available.

Little surprise then that retailers are having to sharpen their metaphorical pencils – Smyths started offering Black Friday deals this week, a whole month ahead of the official event. Probably a wise move on a number of levels; the Post Office is proposing to strike on Black Friday, which will put even more pressure on couriers, while most companies are still struggling to attract sufficient numbers of warehouse staff. Black Friday always stretches warehouses to breaking point, and as many are operating below capacity, anything that can be done to spread sales over a longer period will help to alleviate the kind of pressure that risks seeing the whole system fall over (and subsequent consumer dissatisfaction).

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Richard Gottlieb

Global Toy Experts / Global Toy News

646 675 3019



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