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UK toy market rose by more than 6% in 2016

The UK toy market saw a 6.3% uplift in sales in 2016 as the market value increased to more than £3.5 billion for the first time.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

UK toy market rose by more than 6% in 2016

According to The NPD Group, who have released the figures in partnership with the British Toy and Hobby Association, the growth equates to a gain of more than £200 million year-on-year with 415 million units sold in 2016. Th figures reveal that the UK is now the largest market in Europe and fourth largest in the world. 

Jon Diver, chairman of the British Toy and Hobby Association, said: “Naturally we are delighted to see the UK toy industry returning significant growth despite the political uncertainty last year.

“We were pleased to hear Prime Minister May confirm last week that the government is set to provide clarity to the Brexit process which was concerning many of our members. Our industry is innovative and creative and to sustain growth we look forward to more clarity on the process of Brexit, particularly the relationship with Europe on free trade agreements, customs union access and favourable tariffs with WTO members.”

A survey of British Toy and Hobby Association members has revealed that the industry is positive about the year ahead despite concerns over Brexit. The biggest worries were found to be the devaluation of the Sterling against the Dollar leading to price increases, a lack of decision or clarity on Brexit, and anxiety over the uncertainty regarding exporting to, and trade deals with, Europe as the industry’s largest export market.

Despite this, companies were found to be confident in their ability to produce innovative toys and games. The industry introduced 63,400 brand new toy lines to the market in 2016.

The figures show that on average, £350 was spent on each child aged 0-9 in 2016 with an average price of £8.35. This was largely driven by growth in the collectables market in the UK. This increased by 44% year-on-year and accounted for almost one in four toys sold.

Frederique Tutt, global industry analyst for the NPD Group added: “It has been a good year for the UK toy market. £3.5 billion makes the UK the fourth largest market in the world and 2016’s growth has surpassed the USA at 4.7% and France at 1%. As well as collectables, the games and puzzles sector has driven growth with a year-on-year increase of 21%.”

Some 36% of sales were conducted online which was an increase of 4% year-on-year.

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