2023 Half Year Review – Nursery & Toy

Nursery, Practice Review, Toy Industry

Posted on 3 July 2023

In today’s market, demand is driven by two main factors.

Technology and Value.

The Nursery & Toy industry, although some may argue was late to the party, is investing rapidly in the two.

In the Nursery industry, although classic toys are in the midst of a boom, the demand in some way confirms the rapid increase in technology, which is driving some consumer behaviour back toward nostalgia.

Not simply an integration of electronics, technology is also being used heavily in the design and manufacturing process, with a wide range of brands seeking to improve the perceived value of their products through sustainability efforts to improve their product’s lifespan and re-usability. One such brand includes Norwegian manufacturer Stokke, recently reporting a 35% revenue increase in 2022 and with EBITDA profit rising to 9%. Additional acquisitions of Limas, Mukako, Babyzen, and Evomove over the last 18 months have further cemented their growth trajectory, along with investments into cutting-edge child development and sustainability strategies.

In the Toy industry, rental services are going through a period of accelerated growth, particularly in the US market, as consumers seek to reduce their overall spend and enter into a more sustainable pattern of behaviour. A model which has already seen strong success in the UK and China. Three more major trends we’re seeing again point to digital, with marketing functions increasing their investment in affiliate/influencer marketing, largely thanks to the unboxing craze. As well as consumers seeking educational toys (a market forecast to grow by $24bn in the period 2020-2024), which often works hand-in-hand with technologically advanced toys, such as iPads and other tablets, with the ability to purchase educational apps.

During Q1, our Nursery & Toy team visited key industry events, including the Nuremberg International Toy Fair, and the Toy Fair in London, to discuss trends in the market and personnel plans for Q3. In particular, the upcoming quarter will see MacGregor Black supporting our partners across Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain, and Operations, with new roles due to be released steadily throughout the year, as well as a number of confidential headhunts that are ongoing.

Throughout Q2, our practice has begun new partnerships with a number of leading brands in Scandinavia and Australia, with a large number of projects ongoing throughout Q3 and Q4. Our team is also supporting two new clients in APAC who are looking to build out their UK Sales teams, with new roles to be released throughout Q3 and Q4.

If you’d like to discuss our support on a current or future role, or are looking for your next career move, get in touch with our dedicated Nursery & Toy Practice today via hello@macgregorblack.com or by calling +44 (0)191 691 1949