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New C&M analysis: France Traditional Toys and Games Market
Traditional Toys and Games in France - a new market research report on 2014-03-21 18:31:02
In 2012, the French toys and games market reported a decline in sales and revenue during 2012 and this followed a modest recovery in 2011. The poor economic conditions with marginal GDP growth and the uncertainty over the EURO currency with the southern states debt issues was dampening consumer confidence and restricting any spending on items which were not essential. The increasing popularity of purchasing toys and games online, where prices are typically lower than in store-based retail channels, also contributed to the decline in total market current value sales. Traditional toys and games was worst affected by unfavourable economic conditions, recording a sharp decline in current value terms. Video games current value sales grew marginally, though this was still an improvement on the category´s performance the previous year. Favourable demographic trends helped to prevent a worse performance by the entire market; birth rates in France remained among the highest in Europe, and continued to rise. This ensured the continued expansion of the core consumer base for toys and games, ie children aged 0-14 years.

After rising steadily over 2008-2011, the value share held by licenced products in traditional toys and games declined in 2012. This was mainly due to the unfavourable economic situation in France, though the drop also reflected slower demand for licenced products launched towards the end of the review period. These included Hasbro France´s Beyblade and the Cars 2 range from Simba-Dickie Group GmbH & Co KG. The fact that there were comparatively few successful licencing novelties in 2012, again partly due to the economic slowdown, also contributed to the sharp decline in current value sales of licenced traditional toys and games.

Toys and games in France remained highly fragmented and competitive in 2012, with several players vying for shares in most categories. Nintendo France SA and Sony Entertainment France were the top two players in video games, while Hasbro and Mattel France SA led traditional toys and games. Nintendo´s value share in video games declined steadily throughout the review period. This was due to the poor performances of its core categories, video games hardware and software, which faced increasing competition from digital gaming. The main beneficiary of this latter trend was Electronic Arts France, which continued to strengthen its lead in the digital gaming category in 2012 thanks to the success of brands like Fifa, Battlefield and Mass Effect. Similarly, Hasbro´s overall lead in traditional toys and games was weakened over 2011-2012 due to declining current value sales in key strongholds like action figures and accessories and outdoor and sports toys. Hasbro´s value share decline was also due to strong gains made by smaller players like Lego France SA, which benefited from the success of recently launched brand extensions like Lego Friends for Girls.

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