Spielwarenmesse: “ToyAward products simply have to be available in a good specialty shop.”

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Toy Award Produkte im Einzelhandel
  Movers & shakers

Movers & shakers

“ToyAward products simply have to be available in a good specialty shop.”

from Spielwarenmesse eG

For 14 years now, the ToyAward – the renowned Spielwarenmesse® prize for innovation – has been bestowed upon the greatest innovations in the age-specific categories of Baby & Infant (0-3 years), PreSchool (3-6 years), SchoolKids (6-10 years), Teenager & Adults (from 10 years) and – since 2019 – Startup. The high status of the award in the industry is underscored by its ever-growing popularity among exhibitors. The ToyAward of the last Spielwarenmesse® alone attracted 433 exhibitors with a total of 838 products.

An international jury of experts consisting of market researchers, decision-makers in the retail trade, trend scouts and journalists makes a shortlist in a digital preliminary decision. The next step is evaluating the favourites in a joint meeting. This is done with the greatest attention being paid to gaming fun, originality, safety, workmanship and quality, comprehensibility of the product concept as well as the item's potential for being successful in the retail trade. After the festive awards ceremony – which is held during the opening ceremony of the Spielwarenmesse® – visitors can experience the award-winning products up close in the TrendGallery for the entire duration of the fair.

We met Klaus Müller, managing partner of Nuremberg-based toy retailer Spielwaren Schweiger, for a chat and talked to him about the significance of the ToyAward and why the award-winning products should definitely be part of your product range.

Spielwarenmesse®: Mr Müller, could you please briefly introduce yourself and your company?

Portrait Klaus Müller

Klaus Müller: As far back as 1896, my family opened a shop for bicycles, steam engines and electrical goods. Since 2002, our store has been located in the Mögeldorf district of Nuremberg, and we offer our customers more than 30,000 products on 1,800 m² of floor space. Besides toys, our main focus is the back-to-school business – that is to say satchels, backpacks and stationery. Our product range also includes books and for the last three years, we have had a large creative department.

Which products are currently selling like hotcakes in your shop?

K. M.:  At the moment, of course, everything that's linked to licences. First and foremost, Paw Patrol, DJ Mask and Fireman Sam. Besides them, backpacks from Nitro and Satch are currently selling extraordinarily well.

Why are ToyAward products an integral part of your range – without fail?

K. M.: It's obvious, isn't it? Because, ultimately, new products are what determine business in the toy industry. A few years ago, over 50% of the goods we now sell weren't even on the market. The ToyAward recognises unique innovations and the bigger these innovations are, the better they can be sold in stores and are included in the assortment of large retailers and associations. ToyAward products simply have to be available in a good specialty shop.

toy retailer Spielwaren Schweiger

In your view, how significant is the ToyAward in the toy industry?

K. M.: Very. Countless great new items come onto the market every single year. With the ToyAward, the expert jury filters out the most innovative and trend-setting ones.

Online trade is becoming ever more important. What opportunities do you see for brick-and-mortar shops with regard to digitalisation?

K. M.: Those who don't participate in e-commerce will lose turnover and significance in the long run. You simply have to be part of it and have at least a website. If traditional retailers want to continue to exist, they have to develop a massive understanding of the customer and expand on it, so that they can take a more personalised approach. This can only happen at data level.

Why should retailers in no event miss attending the Spielwarenmesse®?

K. M.:  Because there's nowhere else where you can find such a large and bundled range of products. The Spielwarenmesse® is the most suitable place to discover new products.

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Author of this article:

Spielwarenmesse eG

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