Germany: Fledgling parents buy more quality toys

Parents’ demand for high quality baby and toddler toys has continued to rise in recent years, according to the German toy retailers association Bundesverband des Spielwareneinzelhandels (BVS).  Germans are increasingly willing to spend more money in order to get toys of a high quality. In 2010, they spent 4 per cent more on baby and toddler toys than in the previous year. All in all, children under 3 years were given toys for 320 million Euros (2009: 308 million). “Parents know that quality comes with a higher price tag and therefore they spend more. Quality brands from toy makers and retails benefit from this”, says Willy Fischel, managing director of the BVS. Sustainability is another topic which is getting more important for businesses in Germany.

Toys with educational benefits and activity toys that make children move are the top sellers: Feely parts that children can stroke help them get to know animals or toys with beads on loops support the development of motor skills. The market for outdoor toys is also growing: Be it  toy dump trucks for pushing along or ride-on toys: „Children love anything they can move”, Fischel comments and gives an outlook on the further development of sales in 2011: „The little ones can look forward to Christmas:  If the parents’ and grandparents’ mood to buy continues, the industry can again expect a sales growth of at least 3 per cent this year. This is an important time for retailers, because every other Euro spent on baby or toddler toys is spent in the fourth quarter.”

Although last year 13,000 children more were born  than in the year before, the birth rate has been stagnating in the recent years in Germany. However: Less and less children get more and more toys, Fischel says: “Germans spend 158 Euros on average per year on toys for children under 3 years – across all occasions for giving. 6 years ago, they only spent 101 Euros. They show how important their children are to them and their willingness to spend becomes more similar to that of French or British parents who tend to spend significantly more.”

 The Bundesverband des Spielwaren-Einzelhandels e.V. represents the interests of the toy retailers across all distribution channels and business sizes in Germany. The association is part of the national retailers’ association Handelsverband Deutschland – HDE – Der Einzelhandel, whose regional associations send their delegates to the members’ assembly.  The most important buying groups are associate members.

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