Dynamic market situation in Europe
The toy industry is one of the most dynamic economic sectors in Europe. About 60 % of the toys on the market are new products – and this every year. The industry comprises 80 % small and medium enterprises with less than 50 employees.
Sales, imports and exports
Sales of traditional toys in the European retail trade amounted to € 15.5 billion in 2010. The five leading toy markets in the EU – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Great Britain – accounted for the largest share of this (73 %) with sales of traditional toys worth € 11.4 billion.
The 27 EU countries export classic toys worth € 1.05 billion a year (2010) to non-EU countries. The main markets are the USA, Switzerland and Russia. Toy imports amounted to € 6.96 billion in 2010. The main supplier of these is China with 86.2 % of imports.
Sales channels for classic toys
Main sales channel in Europe is the retail toy trade: The toyshops hold a market share of 39.5 % (2010), followed by supermarkets (27.6 %) and other retail shops (14.0 %), department stores (6.9 %), online shops (6.1 %), discounters (4.1 %), mail order catalogues (1.6 %) and video/computer game shops (0.2 %).
The toy market in Europe is extremely seasonal. The majority of sales (approx. 60 %) are made during the Christmas period (November/December).
European families value baby and infant articles
With a market share of 19.4 %, baby and infant articles were the best-selling toys in the EU in 2010, followed by games and puzzles (11.9 %) and outdoor toys (10.9 %).
An estimated 78.3 million children under 14 years live in Europe (2010). This is some 15 % of the total population. The falling birth rates and the aging of society result in new challenges for the European toy industry. This puts a focus on new target groups such as adults.