“I note with regret that there is in certain media a regrettable propensity to accentuate an anxiety-inducing effect of so-called shortage… ”. The confidence comes to us from a spokesperson for several toy manufacturers. At two and a half months before Christmas, should we really be afraid of not finding the precious gifts ordered by children, on the shelves of physical stores and on the pages of merchant sites? The question remains sensitive and several major toy brands, as well as a representative organization, have told us that they do not want to comment on the subject.
60% of the products come from China
One thing is certain, the materials, including plastic, and electronic components are missing while global demand is exploding, in this period of epidemic calm in many Western countries. Add to that cases of covid that block Chinese ports, power problems that cripple factories, and the entire world economy is shaking. Particularly the toy market which, in France, achieves more than half of its turnover over the last three months of the year. Of the 100 million products that will be sold in the country, nearly 60% come from China.
Today, we have 20% more stocks than usual
Sensing this logistical tension, some specialized brands took the lead early in the year to avoid the current bottleneck of orders. This is the case with JouéClub: “Today, we have 20% more stocks than usual. Normally, the goods arrive from the end of August until mid-December. This year, we have organized everything so that all are in stores by mid-November at the latest, ”explains Franck Mathais, spokesperson for the toy store cooperative.
Fast out of stock of “star toys”?
The coming weeks will show whether this strategy is paying off. But inevitably, the “star toys” of the moment
could be out of stock well before Christmas: “It happens every year, the question is to know in what proportion this year. We can’t answer yet, there are a lot of boats on the water with toys on board. As long as we do not know when they will arrive, we do not know when we will suffer more or less out of stocks. We will have a more precise vision at the end of October, ”says Franck Mathais. And no need to ask to relaunch a last minute production of these very popular toys, if they are “made in China”. There, the factories have already oriented their production towards 2022.
The advice for parents is that when the gift lists are made, don’t hang around shopping.
The players in the sector agree that in all cases, toys will be found on the shelves until December 24. But not necessarily those desired by children. “The advice to give to parents is that, when the lists of gifts are made, do not hang around to make purchases,” says Franck Mathais. Lists that are being created at this very moment, with the arrival of catalogs in mailboxes.
The “made in Europe” less concerned
No panic though. Some toy manufacturers contacted are rather reassuring. “We are encountering some delay problems, but this does not have a significant impact”, we see at Moulin Roty. On the side of Playmobil, “we are not in the worrying situation with which others may be confronted”, notes Cécile L’Hermite, marketing and consumer manager. There are several reasons for this: the very reduced use of electronic components, 100% European production and strong anticipation in the manufacture and storage of these plastic figures and decorations.
A price increase? Another fear of parents linked to the shortage of materials concerns soaring prices
toys. At Playmobil, we reassure by claiming to maintain the prices from the beginning of the year until Christmas. “The stake is rather on the medium-long term. For next year, our experts are making estimates, we are also discussing with the distribution sector, ”explains Cécile L’Hermite. The goal: for everyone to cut back on their margins so as not to scare customers away from prices that could become prohibitive … Among the “star products” identified by toy dealers: Pokémon cards in a metal box and box, LOL dolls, the Beat That and Harry Potter games Wizard Trials, the Paw Patrol universes and
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