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Online redefining UK toys and games market

New research predicts 46.2 per cent of toys and game sales in the UK will be sold online by 2022.

The UK toys and games market will grow 16.2 per cent over the next five years, reaching a total value of £4.9 billion, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. ​But 84.1 per cent of that growth will be through online channels.

The company’s latest report analyses the discount retail market in the UK, finding that the majority of growth for the sector will be through online.

Amazon will overtake Argos to become the largest toy retailer in the UK in 2020. Some 51 per cent of toys and games shoppers visited Amazon in 2017, showing that the retailer is seriously threatening traditional toy retailers.

Molly Johnson-Jones, senior retail analyst with GlobalData Retail, says Amazon has managed to improve shopper loyalty with its Amazon Prime services, and an impressive range of toys and games.

“Prices on this year’s must-have toys are lower than its competitors, its range is unrivalled, and the convenience of its offering is market-leading,” she says.

Electronic toys, and traditional toys will support strong market growth out to 2022. Electronic toys will grow to hold 13.1 per cent of the total toy market in 2022; and arts and crafts, construction toys, and board games will hold a total of 30.5 per cent for the same period.​

“Electronic toy growth is not changing the market yet, as older parents and grandparents still choose traditional toys over toys which bridge the interface between physical and digital play. However, as millennials who grew up with digital entertainment start to have families, electronic toy sales will increase, and their simultaneous desire to do more ‘wholesome’ activities will mean that the strong growth of traditional toys will continue,” Johnson-Jones says.

Pocket money toys have experienced the most innovation 2017 with best-sellers such as LOL Surprise Dolls and Hatchimal CollEggtibles.

“The UK has always been a highly playground trend driven market, but this year has seen unusually high levels of innovation in toys under £10. Now that children are driving a portion of sales growth in the toy market, it is more important than ever for brick-and-mortar retailers to create an engaging and immersive environment for young toy shoppers”.

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