Recall Doesn’t Stall Online Demand For Toys
Non-travel retail sales for the third quarter of 2007 hit $28.4 billion, a 23 percent increase over the same period last year, with sales fueled by demand for video games and their related consoles and accessories.
The game isn’t over when it comes to online retail sales. Measurement firm comScore noted the rise in year over year sales for the third quarter, including a massive boost in gaming retail.
The video games, consoles & accessories category measured by comScore virtually tripled in US sales year over year. Microsoft debuted its Halo 3 title for the Xbox 360 game console during the period, a move that helped boost their profit to a 23 percent gain over the same period last year.
Consumer electronics, like flat screens and high-definition TVs, grew 58 percent. Toys have been the subject of recalls due to paint containing lead, as used by Asian manufacturers. Despite those highly publicized recalls, the comScore toys and hobbies category grew by 57 percent.
Demand could be challenged by yet another recall, announced by Mattel, due to lead paint on their Go Diego Go toys.
That bodes well for retailers who may have justifiably feared a slowdown in toy sales as the all-important fourth quarter holiday season begins in earnest. Retailers should keep on track with their marketing promotions, rather than taking current demand for granted, as there are four more weeks before shopping demand starts its post-Thanksgiving push.
Including travel, online retail hit $48.6 billion, 18 percent over the same quarter in 2006. Travel retail accounted for $20.1 billion in spending in the third quarter.