Spielwarenmesse: New products and the toy classics - it is all about the mix

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New products and the toy classics - it is all about the mix

from Eva Stemmer und Jörg Meister

Impulse items and seasonal goods, new products and a basic range - a well balanced mix in a toy range provides an interesting and surprising overall impression.

For retailers, no product selection is complete without trend articles and seasonal goods or toys. They fly off the shelves and are often the impetus for someone to visit a store. As such, they are welcome sources of revenue.

However, caution must also be exercised - if a product is trendy, then this inherently means it will be available in many shops. Being so available, the share of one’s business from such items is reduced accordingly. There is always someone pursuing a lower margin - or supposedly offering a better deal. This in turn increases the pressure on the sales price, culminating in predatory competition.

Therefore, when purchasing toy ranges that are in trend or seasonal, you have to meet customers’ demand for these products without overfilling your storeroom. After all, trends often go out of fashion as quickly as they come in. Or are torpedoed by competing, cheaper alternatives.

Kettler: Run 10 Air
Especially in the spring time, scooter are an essential part of every toy shop assortment. (Image: Run 10 Air by Kettler)

A store with a concept is usually better than a trend shop

However, one of the most serious aspects of retailing with changing trend ranges is the profile of the particular toy store. Obviously, the retailer would like to have this additional business. But does it suit the focus of the store? Is the customer expecting such special items from this toy shop? And does the seasonal range contribute to the store's coherent image?

To maintain a focused profile, a store has to get the product mix right, from expected trend items on the one hand and a meaningful and coherent base of permanent ranges to surprising toy innovations on the other.

Keep surprising the customer

BRIO: Rote Lola ("Red Lola")
Classic toy by BRIO: the battery-powered locomotive Rote Lola ("Red Lola")

This will ensure you cover the needs of a broad customer spectrum, remain fresh and surprising and also create an image of what you stand for. You need a store concept and well thought-out range that your customer is used to and expects. And surprising changes which keep customers coming back to you, interested in being enthralled all over again.

This will allow you to level out the impulse-driven and often difficult to calculate seasonal business across the year with a coherent permanent range, thereby shaping the image of your store. With a strong and meaningful basic range, i.e. classics, basics and evergreens, as the basis for your sales, you can then be more daring in trying out new products and more unusual ranges that stand out from the masses.

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