Will the French toy rise?

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In the run-up to Christmas, the French toy is the star of the shelves in stores, the gifts par excellence that will sit under the trees of millions of children. In this festive world that is preparing, despite the announcement of the reconfinement, the French toy wants to continue its breakthrough. Appreciated for its authentic appearance, quality and simplicity, it seduces and brings a new wind to the market. Nevertheless, the first containment period had a strong impact on the French toy market. Now is the time for questioning. How will the French toy hold, when the Christmas holidays are a pivotal period of this market?

The French toy, between outstanding activity and buying opportunities

In France, French toy brands account for 14% of the turnover of games and toys. An interesting result, which demonstrates the interest in tricolor know-how,which develops a little more each year. Their popularity remains intact, from traditional wooden games to board games for the whole family. Educational value is one of the elements that encourages you to choose “this” toy, rather than another. For their Christmas shopping, households do not hesitate to invest more, in order to focus on quality. For example, in 2019, 50% of French people said they planned an envelope of more than 300 euros for the purchase of their children’s Christmas gifts. This is therefore a very important financial period for toy sellers in the territory. However, the French toy is experiencing a difficult period: -8% of sales in the first 8 months of 2020, a result that is declining despite the rise of e-commerce.

Indeed, this is explained by the channels through which toys are sold, especially French. 45% of tricolour toys are sold through specialist shops, shops directly affected by the closure of “non-essential” establishments. This closure is found during at least the first 15 days of the reconfinment,waiting to see how the health situation evolves. And with the holiday season approaching, the toy industry is grinding its teeth. Christmas shopping is indeed getting ready quite early, with a marked peak around mid-December. However, toys from brands such as Corolle or Sophie La Giraffe should still retain their importance, especially with young children.

Containment under the sign of a return to the roots?

Following the first containment in March 2020, the French have changed their consumption. Indeed, local products, so-called “short circuit” take over imports. This stems from several observations. The first is that imported products are no longer necessarily shipped on time to shops. Local productions thus counteract this lack. In addition, the French are committed to the values of local products. French toys, fruits and vegetables, and other foodstuffs are all products whose customers advocate quality. By consuming local products, consumers are supporting the local economy. Thus, drives farmers, as in Bordeaux, but also local creators and artisans are all links of the local economy that rely on the support of consumers. The French toy, as well as other sectors of activity are therefore closely scrutinized, to know the evolutions.

Child with wooden toy
Toys are a must under the Christmas tree, for the happiness of all children.

In this period usually marked by celebration, shopping in anticipation of Christmas, the climate is not at the party. The containment of four weeks, a month and a half before Christmas is a difficult announcement for businesses. The French toy, which intends to continue its growth, hangs on. But for how long? Only the evolution of the health situation will tell us.


Playing French – The French toy sector – 14 September 2020

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