Worth an estimated $1.5 billion a year and with growth rate of 11.8 percent, toys are a serious business for GCC retailers, who are rapidly cashing in on the region’s booming population growth of six percent a year.
But although the market has enjoyed a steady and healthy growth over the past three decades, as would be expected from a region where an estimated 50 percent of the population is under 16, unlike other retail markets, selling toys is not all fun and games.
Primarily, it’s a seasonal industry, with approximately 65 percent of a year’s sales taking place during Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha, Christmas and Diwali. This sets it apart from other retail arenas such as fashion, where the year is broken into spring/summer and autumn/winter collections which sell fairly consistently throughout the year.
“Demand for toys is increasing by around 10 to 15 percent a year,” says their spokesman, who acts as the chain’s main toy buyer consultant.