US toy retail sales dip 4% in 2019, says NPD

Highlights, however, included property growth for both Frozen and Toy Story.

US retail sales of toys generated $20.9 billion in 2019, compared with $21.8 billion in 2018 – a decline of 4%.

The news comes a week after it was revealed the UK toy market suffered a 6% decline in year on year sales in 2019.

The NPD Group said that industry performance in the US in 2019 was one of contrast. Sales in the first half of the year declined due to comparisons to the Toys R Us liquidation sales, which grew the first half of 2018. This was followed by growth in the third quarter (July to September), but there were declines in the fourth quarter (October to December), which has six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Comparing noteworthy sales weeks over the holiday period, the week of Black Friday was flat when compared to the same time period in 2018, while the week of Cyber Monday grew 13%, and Christmas week grew 40%.

For the first time in NPD sales tracking history, toy sales during the week of Cyber Monday were larger than the week of Black Friday.

Meanwhile, Frozen and Toy Story were at the top of the property growth list, while L.O.L. Surprise led growth in the Fashion Dolls class. The Action Figures category increased 11% (led by growth in Toy Story and Fortnite) – combined these were almost half of growing properties in the category.

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