The NPD Group: Sales of Outdoor and Sports Toys Surge as Families Take Refuge in Their Backyards

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Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. families are turning to outdoor play to manage social isolation measures and the cancellation of schools and organized sports. Sales of Outdoor and Sports Toys surged by $193 million during April, 2020, a 51 percent increase over the same time period last year.

“As families across the U.S. continue to grapple with school closures and the cancellation of organized sports, parents and children are turning to their backyards to keep active and busy,” said Juli Lennett, NPD’s toys industry advisor.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. families are turning to outdoor play to manage social isolation measures and the cancellation of schools and organized sports. Sales of Outdoor and Sports Toys surged by $193 million during April, 2020, a 51 percent increase over the same time period last year*. The Outdoor and Sports Toys supercategory contributed 53 percent of the total growth in the toy industry during that time period according to retail sales data from The NPD Group. The total U.S. toy industry grew 22% in April.

“As families across the U.S. continue to grapple with school closures and the cancellation of organized sports, parents and children are turning to their backyards to keep active and busy,” said Juli Lennett, NPD’s toys industry advisor. “Across the country outdoor spaces are taking the place of daycares, schoolyards, and sports fields. As the warmer weather takes hold, these spaces are becoming increasingly important for families who are looking to take refuge outdoors while still adhering to widespread social isolation measures.”

Growth in the Outdoor and Sports Toys supercategory was driven by a number of categories that experienced strong dollar gains during April, including Playground Equipment (+81%), Skate/Skateboards/Scooters (+107%), Ride-Ons (+78%), Water/Sand Toys & Accessories (+47%), Pools (+161%), and Sports Activities & Games (+25%).

“With summer quickly approaching and many parents expecting to continue working from home, keeping children busy will become even more of a priority,” said Lennett. “Parents will be looking for more solutions to keep their kids active and engaged during the summer months, which will undoubtedly bode well for the toy industry overall.”

*Source: The NPD Group/ Retail Tracking Service/ Dollar Sales/ April, 2020

About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We have offices in 27 cities worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, video games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdtoys.

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