SOURCE: Panjiva

Panjiva

November 27, 2012 09:00 ET

Without an Established "Must Have" Item, Toys Experience Record Low Shipments Heading Into 2012 Holiday Rush

Panjiva Finds 13 Percent Drop in Toys Shipments as Retailers Continue to Bet on Established Sellers Over Unproven Players

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 27, 2012) - According to data released today from Panjiva, the B2B platform powering the business of global trade, toys could be challenging to find on store shelves this holiday season. In fact, shipments of "toys" have fallen more than 13 percent from last year and have fallen to their lowest levels since 2007, when Panjiva first began tracking such information. Moreover, shipments of this season's "must have" toys as advertised by top retailers are lower than that of comparable toys in previous years.

August through October is when most holiday shipments arrive at U.S. ports in order to be at retailers in time for the holidays. The volume of shipments during this period has dropped off dramatically in 2012, suggesting retailers are being conservative about how much they think American consumers will spend on toys this holiday season.

Toys Could Suffer From Worst Holiday in Years
Parents may be hard pressed to find the volume and variety of toys they are used to seeing on store shelves during the holiday season. In August through October 2012, there were 56,887 shipments of toys entering U.S. ports, which represents a 13 percent decrease in shipments from the 65,591 toys shipments in the same period of 2011. It also represents a nearly 30 percent drop in toys shipments compared to 2007, the most prosperous year for toys since Panjiva began tracking such information. Shipments coming into U.S. ports are bound for a variety of retailers including Toys"R"Us and Costco, among others, and include a wide array of items ranging from blocks, puzzles and dolls, to bicycles and drum sets.

Veteran Toys Perform Better Than Rookies
Retailers' measured approach to toys may be in part due to the fact there is no clear front runner for a must-have holiday toy. Much like 2011, retailers are relying on mainstays they know will perform, rather than betting on one hot item.

Traditional toys that have long been hot holiday sellers have experienced a greater number of shipments than the anticipated "it" toys. Barbie is once again the most shipped toy, with more than 2,225 shipments leading up to the holiday season. Both Lego and Hot Wheels also performed well, with more than 600 shipments each, and Elmo continues to be a favorite with 285 shipments.

None of this year's most anticipated hot toys reached the 300 shipment mark, which has historically indicated a strong performance and wide availability on store shelves. Doc McStuffins was the leader, with 154 shipments, while both Moshi pet monster toys and the Imaginext Castle came in with at or near 100 shipments. Even beloved boy band One Direction was not an exception to retailers' prudence, with dolls in the band members' likeness only reaching 89 shipments.

"Retailers appear to have shown extra caution leading up to the holiday and ordered conservatively," said Josh Green, CEO, Panjiva. "This is smart given the still-uncertain economic climate and the lack of a sure-fire hit toy, though there may be some disappointed boys and girls when it comes times to open presents. If I were Santa, I'd be putting the elves to work overtime to make up for the gap."

About Panjiva
Panjiva powers the business of global trade. The company's B2B platform combines content and communication to fuel 21st century trade by enabling serious buyers and sellers to connect with one another quickly and easily. By combining diverse data sets that enable decision making with robust technology that makes the process of analyzing the data more efficient, Panjiva provides an unmatched level of insight on the companies, products and trends shaping global trade. With more than a million unique online visitors each month and 5,000 paying users across a wide variety of industries, Panjiva is a trusted resource to gain insight into, and make contact with, more than 6 million companies that make 35 million unique products. Panjiva was founded by CEO Josh Green and CTO James Psota. Panjiva has received equity investments from Battery Ventures and Harrison Metal. For additional information, visit: http://panjiva.com.

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