Electronic games, toys and interactive entertainment are booming in Australia despite the economic downturn claims research group GFK. In their latest report they say that between January to July 2009 more than $2.8 billion was spent on the category representing a 7% increase over the same period in 2008.
One of the key factors driving sales is children who have successfully managed to apply peer pressure on parents and family members to spend money on them as they stay at home more.
GFK said that interactive games and toys in particular have experienced healthy value growth, with both categories up 9%. Despite a decline of 2.4% pre-recorded videos are performing better than in Australia than most other developed countries.
The European research group said that Australia is unique in that the toy retailers enjoy ‘Christmas in July’, with the annual July toy catalogue sales accounting for 20% of total sales for the year, while Christmas accounts for 25%.
The toy catalogue season was not quite as strong this year, with unit sales declining by 7.5%. Value sales grew by a modest 1.6%, indicating that consumers took advantage of retailer promotional activities and purchased toys at higher price points but in lower quantities.
Contributing to the growth has been the Federal Governments stimulus package, coupled with aggressive retailer catalogues said GFK.
Also contributing was the fact that consumers spent more time at home in 2009 than in the past and this led to them “snapping up toys to keep their kids entertained, with outdoor & sports toys performing particularly well”.
This resulted in pre-catalogue sales (January to June) growing 14.1% compared to a growth for the same period last year of 4.6%.
They predicted that the timing of Christmas Day falling on a Friday should help retailers maintain sales with the research group tipping sales growth of 6-7% for the toy sector which includes gaming consoles and hand held gaming devices.