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End of lockdown lifeline for physical retail?

Millions of shoppers took to the streets following the end of lockdown in the UK delivering a short term boost to sales figures.


Lockdown restrictions officially ended in England (for some regions at least) on Wednesday 2nd December, prompting a welcome surge in footfall in key retail locations. Whilst the estimated “millions” of people on the streets of London, Birmingham and Manchester would have meant that maintaining social distance would have been nigh on impossible (leaving us awaiting more news of a vaccine), the injection of an estimated £10bn at retail would have been a welcome shot in the arm. Indeed, Spark Emotions estimate that the final four weeks before Christmas could see as much as £35bn being spent in store.

The challenge for many in the toy trade now is getting additional stock to stores in time, and at a financially viable cost. As reported in Toy World last week, shipping container rates had “soared to £7500”, and we’re now hearing that some quotes are now exceeding the $10k mark (that’s assuming of course you can dock them).

However, stock arriving late might not be a complete disaster, particularly if there aren’t further lockdown restrictions post-Christmas. According to Giraffe Insight’s Little Voices study, 43% of children receive cash for Christmas with 57% of those that do spending it in January. Blend that with the fact that the Boxing Day through January period commands some of the lowest media costs of the entire year, there is a real opportunity to continue brand growth, gain market share or even launch new lines.

Working closely with retail partners will clearly be key to this success both sides of Christmas, which is why we are pleased to be hosting our “Christmas Retail Round Up” 17th December at 11am (UK) when we will be joined by a panel of experts from the UK toy trade (including The Entertainer, Toymaster, NPD and ToyWorld). Join us to learn about the closing weeks of 2020, the long term impact on retail, and to ask your questions as to what it is that retailers want to see from your marketing plans in 2021.  Email for joining instructions.


Source: Giraffe Insights, Spark Emotions via the Daily Express, ToyWorld.