Before Christmas, are toys “essential” products? While the French government is studying the various options to curb the second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, toy professionals are calling on consumers to anticipate their year-end shopping as much as possible.
Professionals have all noticed: Christmas shopping started “two weeks or three weeks earlier than usual”, observes Bruce Aiglehoux, director general of the French Federation of Toy and Childcare Industries (FJP).
“Consumers want Christmas to be the best way for them”, JouéClub spokeswoman Franck Mathais explains in a press release. “Now coming to make their Christmas presents makes them feel safe”. The brand had anticipated by recruiting its seasonal employees and sprucing up supplies earlier than in previous years.
In addition, Amazon’s “Prime days”, which usually occur during the summer, were postponed until October 13 and 14 because of the pandemic, which had an impact on sales, explains Bruce Aiglehoux. And the American giant is still communicating on the theme of “buy in advance and relax”, with “Black Friday before the hour” from October 26 to November 19.
. Should we fear scarcity?
If there were movement restrictions, would stocks certainly be? “With 48% of sales made in the last two months of the year, the logistics of physical stores and online sales sites are already bursting with tension”, observes in a sector expert press release within the NPD Group, Frédérique Tutt. “The particular conditions we experience could lead to saturation of physical stores, as well as disruption in the supply of many products.”
Nevertheless, Bruce Aiglehoux tempts: “there are ripples every year, even if they could happen earlier this year”. Based on the experience of spring containment, when supply was not “unduly interrupted or disrupted”, he believes the question is above all to know “will consumers be able to buy in stores” .
Traders as a whole require being able to stay open, including for categories that were considered “non-essential” during spring containment.
“The trade will not be able to withstand new restrictions during year-end celebrations”, pleading for example Yohann Petiot, director general of the Trade Alliance. We must “keep all stores open beyond 7:00 pm and give consumers the opportunity to make their purchases in stores on weekends”.
The Conseil du Commerce de France (CDCF) association of retail federations is asking for its part to “do everything together to keep shops open so as not to push consumers into pure international player platforms to postpone their end purchases year online ”.
If he also pleads with consumers to make their race with players having a “shop front” rather than through “third-party vendors selling non-branded games, even if the price is attractive”, Bruce Aiglehoux wants to be optimistic about the toy market as a whole. “We are on a trend that allows us to think we can catch up with the delays” that accrued during the first labor, he slips carefully.
The toy market, which weighs 3.5 billion euros in turnover in France (2019 figures make it the 5th largest market in the world and 2nd in Europe, according to NPD Group), recorded over a year alone ‘”a very modest decline of -1% since the beginning of the year”, according to a joint press release with the FJP.
Particularly popular, puzzles for adults, educational games and the “will surprise us”, according to Bruce Aiglehoux, who concludes that if the travel restriction measures “can complicate the purchase, we are we know Christmas will happen anyway. “