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2023’s holiday shopping outlook.

Wish lists will soon be written, and with that in mind it’s a good time to look at Canada’s toy and holiday novelty markets.

As per Statista:

While their form and function may have changed over time, toys have continued to provide entertainment and inspire play for many.

Statista states that the global toy market’s revenue has recently exceeded USD $100 billion, with Canada’s toys and games market generating roughly USD $4.2 billion in 2022; by 2027, that number is expected to reach USD $5.7 billion. Year-over-year revenue growth has been marked at 1%, and construction sets and models make up the largest segment in Canada’s toys and games market.

In trade terms, stuffed toys and related items (HS code 950300) came to Canada primarily from China (almost $1.7 billion worth of product), followed by Mexico ($377 million), Vietnam ($156 million), the U.S. ($127 million), and Indonesia ($41 million) in 2022. That same year, Canada exported almost $120 million in toy products to the U.S., followed by the U.K. ($1.6 million), Mexico ($906,000), France ($772,000), and Guatemala ($657,000).

The bulk of holiday goods (HS code 950510, Christmas trees and other Christmas articles) Canada imported in 2022 came from China (almost $406 million), followed by the U.S. (almost $7 million), India ($6.76 million), Cambodia ($3.66 million), and Austria (almost $2.1 million). That same year, Canada exported more than $31 million worth of product to the U.S.; other top export markets included Barbados ($257,000), Trinidad & Tobago ($238,000), Bahamas ($59,000), and Spain ($31,500).

Children’s Christmas wish lists – usually complete with popular toys and games – coincide with a surge in sales of these products in the fourth quarter of each year. Statistics Canada’s retail sales data shows that spending on sports and leisure products in December 2022 was 3.6% higher than it was in December 2021; spending in the miscellaneous category was up 8.1% from December 2021.

Mastercard’s own data seems to echo that data. It found that Canada’s 2022 Black Friday sales were up 5.6% year-over-year, with apparel and electronics as two sectors showing growth. In-store sales were up 7.5% year-over-year, indicating a strong post-pandemic return to in-person shopping. (While ecommerce sales were down -3% from 2021 figures, they were up 56.2% from November 2019’s figures and indicate that while Canadians are returning to stores, ecommerce is now a strong part of the country’s retail experience.)

While Canadians celebrated in December 2022, spring 2023 numbers showed that rising prices and high interest rates affected how consumers spent their money. And that trend has continued; recent reports indicate that concerns about rising rents, mortgage costs, and grocery and gasoline prices have dampened the holiday outlook and Canadians are planning to spend roughly 11% less than they did in 2022’s holiday season.

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Pexels photo by George Dolgikh

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