toys stores are becoming extinct

It is bad with the toy industry. The number of stores is decreasing rapidly. The average turnover falls just as hard. The approaching holidays will be the lifebuoy for many stores. Even though they are late for some things.

The Utrecht toy store Pim’s Olifant does not look like an Intertoys or Bart Smit. Here you will not find the well-known brands, which certainly advertise on children’s channels around the festive season.

No ‘made in China’ stuff

The toy at Pim’s Elephant is rarely plastic, mostly made of wood. Batteries or chargers are also not required. It sounds a lot more responsible than many ‘made in China’ stuff. Not so crazy in 2018, you might think. Nevertheless, the doors close in mid-December.

“That decision was taken by declining sales”, says co-owner Ineke Stuivenberg (67). Together with her partner Marion (54) she started the business in 1996. In 2011 it was still elected Quality Toys Shop of the Year.

But children or their parents are apparently no longer waiting for quality toys. “Children ask what they see passing on television.” And the small business is not up to the big toy giants.

Industry has been hit hard for years

The economists of ABN Amro, who did research into the toy industry, also see this. Since 2009, the offline toy industry is no longer growing. The number of physical stores is falling rapidly. In Zeeland, a province of The netherlands , the number of stores has even halved since 2005.

It is, not surprisingly, largely due to the shift to online. There is growth there. In the first half of 2018, we spent 18 percent more on toys in online shops than in the first half of 2017.

Half of all our expenses on toys go to, and associates. That was only a quarter four years ago.