Toy market news

Preparations for a summer of British back gardens helps retail sales to ‘modest comeback’, in ONS’ latest data


With anticipation already high for a solid season of outdoor toy sales this year, the latest ONS figures suggest that the back garden could be the key destination for British holiday-makers for 2021.

It’s according to the latest results, that spending on home improvements and garden furniture in February - all in preparation for the lifting of restrictions on outdoor socialising next week – has helped the retail sector to ‘a modest comeback’ during the UK’s third lockdown.

Retail sales volumes appear to have recovered slightly in February, suggests the latest data from the Office of National Statistics, as sales volumes rose 2.1 per cent on a month-on-month basis. It had fallen 8.2 per cent in January.

The retail industry has continued to struggle, however, with all non-essential high street shops still closed until April 12th. Without a bounce in online sales and department stores this past month, the ONS suggests that sales in the retail sector would have continued to fall.

Across the toy industry, specialists in outdoor toys and play are expecting to see big sales this spring/summer, driven by UK families opting for a holiday in their own back gardens this year, as the country continues to ease out of the ongoing lockdown restrictions.

Among them, Little Tikes has highlighted expectations for the sell-out success of its Growing Garden range of children’s gardening tools, tapping directly into the growth of the grow-your-own scene over the course of the pandemic, while Plum Play has made little secret of the success it has seen for its larger item outdoor play apparatus, including trampolines that witnessed a surge in sales last summer.

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