The French were players. The sector had a “record” year 2021 with a turnover of 3.7 billion euros in France, up 3% compared to last year, according to figures from the NPD cabinet.
“2021 was a record year, it is the first time that we will have reached this level of sales in France”, indicated Frédérique Tutt, toy market analyst for the panelist, on the occasion of a conference of press in the presence of the main federations of the sector.
No euphoria at Christmas
While the profession had alerted at the end of the year to the risks of shortages linked to disruptions in the transport of goods from Asia, the French went ahead with their Christmas shopping, analyzes the cabinet. Growth was 4% over the period from January to September, compared to the same period in 2020, before falling back to 1% over the Christmas season, between October and December.
“No euphoria” for Florent Leroux, president of the French Federation of Toy and Childcare Industries (FJP). “I am one of those who thought that we would be able to end the year higher, at + 4% compared to 2020, which had not been very simple in terms of product development”, a- he stressed.
Success for soft toys
The year still ended in growth of 3.3% compared to 2019, before the health crisis. Some consumers returned to stores in 2021, which encouraged impulse purchases such as soft toys. The specialized brands thus observed a 9% increase in their sales compared to last year, while those in hypermarkets remained almost stable (-1%). Online sales fell by 3% but remain strong growth compared to 2019 (+ 32%).
Among the trends of the year are games and puzzles, which have won over many adults in particular, but also figurines and construction games. For 2022, the industry expects to have to increase prices due to difficulties in the supply of raw materials and inflation. “The entire branch will experience loss of margins,” warned Florent Leroux.
The NPD cabinet expects less growth this year, citing in particular the fall in the birth rate. He nevertheless anticipates “more innovations”, some manufacturers having postponed the release of new products with the health crisis.