Jane Wong, Guangzhou, China
TOY INDUSTRY | Business magazine
When talking of the impact of COVID-19 on the Chinese toy industry, I would like to go into two specific aspects: manufacturing and retailing.
Toy manufacturers have been hit twice. Before March, the pandemic put the whole country on hold. A nation-wide quarantine policy kept factory workers from fulfilling orders for global markets. When China gradually recovered from the pandemic from March onwards, toy manufacturing was adversely affected again because of the cancellation of orders due to the global outbreak. Thus small or medium OEM factories for the toy industry are now struggling to survive.
Since the retail sector expected declining global demands after the coronavirus kept on spreading, factories involved in original brand manufacturing (OBM) are going to focus on the domestic market this year. China’s prosperous e-commerce and strong nationwide express delivery played critical roles during the peak pandemic period. E-tailing made up some portion of the losses suffered by bricks-and-mortar stores. As a result, the toy business is becoming virtual. For example, Alpha Group held its annual distributor conference and promoted its newly released products via live streaming. And toy retailers are putting on live shows to promote online sales.