Although retailers kicked off an earlier shopping timetable, toy discounts have plummeted this holiday season, Bloomberg reported on Thursday (Dec. 12).
There were fewer discounts on toys for online shoppers, despite an average of 15-18 percent price cuts into Cyber Monday. In 2018, toy prices were slashed 31 percent, UBS Analyst Arpine Kocharyan wrote in a note, citing eCommerce trends tracked by Adobe. In 2017, price discounts were about 19 percent.
The shopping time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is six fewer days this year, the shortest since 2013. Hanukkah also begins 20 days later this year than it did last year, Bloomberg said.
However, Thanksgiving weekend shoppers showed that toys are still hot, with 33 percent saying they were buying toys as gifts compared to 34 percent in 2018, according to data from the National Retail Federation. Barbie from Mattel is still the most popular holiday toy for girls. For boys, LEGO remains the top seller.
On Cyber Monday, top gifts included Frozen 2 toys and LOL Surprise Dolls, UBS said. Other winners included O.M.G. dolls, which are updated, larger versions of MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise! dolls that first appeared three years ago. Spin Master Entertainment’s Paw Patrol animated series, which first launched in 2013, is also still a hit.
Toy sales were tracking down more than expected – 5.5 percent through the first nine months of the year, according to BMO Capital Markets.
“There’s no breakout hot product to drive traffic to stores or online,” wrote BMO Analyst Gerrick Johnson. Even after the holiday surge, he expects toy sales to be down 2 percent this year.
There are some new toys, Johnson said, like Yulu’s Pop Pops Snotz and Jakks Pacific’s new X-Power Dozer.
Although some things have changed in retail toy buying, toys serve as a constant source of commerce innovation. To let children try out this year’s most in-demand toys from their computers or tablets, Walmart and choice-driven entertainment company eko unveiled the Walmart Toy Lab for the holiday season.