London Toy Fair Opens on News that UK Toy Sales Grew by 6.3%

Toy suppliers, retailers and press gathered today in Olympia, London for this year’s Toy Fair.

Over 250 exhibitors had goods on display hoping to attract new business and gain a greater share of the ever increasing British toy market, which now has annual sales of £3.5 billion, growing by 6.3% during 2016.

Collectable toys, such as Shopkins the bestselling brand in its class, were a key factor in the industry’s growth. Collectables represented 8% of total sales, up 44% and are now 1 out of every 4 toys sold in the UK.

The British toy market is the number one in Europe and the forth largest in the world, behind the United States, China and Japan.

An average of £350 was spent on toys for each child in 2016, while the average price for each toy sold was £8.35.

Frederique Tutt, global industry analyst for the NPD Group, stated: “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%.

“36% of sales were conducted online, an increase of 4%, while click and collect sales grew year on year by 14%, suggesting that while the final transaction is made online, there is still a place for brick and mortar retail units in the UK.

The British Toy and Hobby Association, organisers of the event, surveyed its members and exhibitors and found that more than 80% predicted another successful year with sales growing in 2017 as well. This, despite the political and economic uncertainty following the UK’s decision, via a referendum, to leave the European Union.

Jon Diver, chairman of the BTHA, stated: “Naturally we are delighted to see the UK toy industry returning to significant growth despite the political uncertainty last year.”

Toy Fair continues in Olympia, Kensington, London until Thursday 26th January 2017.

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