Specialised stores, hypermarkets, online shopping… The traditional French toys and games market consists of a vast distribution network, with up to 14 000 referenced product offers for 11.4 million 0-15 year olds, representing 17% of the total French population.
Understanding how the French toys & games market is different to other European countries is essential to your success!
Market Overview in 2019
In 2019, the toys & games market turnover reached over 2.5 billion Euros for 153.7 million units sold – reaching an average price of 16.42€ (an increase of 1.8% compared to 2018).
We observed high seasonality in 2019, more so than in previous years, with 55% of market value generated from October to December, of which 34% was in December alone.
In terms of demographics, France has remained more or less similar to previous years, with 753 000 births in 2019, and 1.87 children per household, with an average spending of 248€ per 0-14 year old.
How has the Market developed?
The year 2019 was steady and successful for the French toys & games sector. The biggest news is that despite its stagnation at the beginning of the year, the French market has performed much better than its neighbours. Its second strength is its richness and diversity in terms of distribution channels, which multiplies the keys to market entry, especially for international newcomers.
After the difficulties encountered in 2018 (turnover decrease of 5%), we can say with cautious optimism that the sector has started to stabilize, if not bounce back. While the permanent collection sales remained constant, the last quarter contributed to 55% of the yearly sales, reaching a total turnover of 3.5 billion Euros alone.
According to Frédérique Tutt, a world expert in the toy market for the NPG Group, we are currently “in the midst of some major market changes” that will affect the sector in the decade to come. Given the context of social tensions, the French market results are not at all alarming and, on the contrary, are even better than those observed in its European (Germany, UK, Spain and Italy), US and Japanese counterparts.
Everyone loves a classic, and the French toys & games market reflects just that. Categories such as action figures, dolls, and board games stood out of the crowd with respective turnover increases of 20%, 15%, and 10% in 2019. This success can also be linked to the booming year that the world of cinema experienced last year and the licenses that these brought forth. Disney in particular benefited from a multitude of highly successful films such as Toys Story 4, Star Wars, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Frozen, and Spider-Man.
Yearly increases aside however, most popular categories in France are still games and puzzles, newborns and preschool, and dolls:
International players definitely have their place on the French market, as only one of the top 10 suppliers is actually French (Asmodée Editions):
All in all the French toys & games market’s performance in 2019 leaves us cautiously optimistic for the future, despite slight disappointment from previous years, and opens our eyes to the key activity periods marked by seasonality, namely from October to December!
Article Sources: NPD Distributor Pabel EpoS, Insee, Kantar. In collaboration with La Revue du Jouet’s editor -in-chief.
Last edited: 04. March 2020
Are you looking to expand or increase your business on the French toys & games market? Our Preshow Noël event is strategically organised during the most active sales period in France, taking place every November in Deauville, and reunites 100% of French retailers and puts you in direct contact with especially invited mass and specialist retail decision-makers who attend to discover and select from the upcoming Christmas collections in France.
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