Hobby, Toy and Game Stores

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 4,500 companies in the US sell new toys, games, and hobby and craft products. Large firms and many small firms may engage in online sales in additiol to brick-and-mortar retailing. Companies may offer a broad selection of merchandise or specialize in an area, such as educational toys, model trains, or scrapbooking supplies. In the video game retail category, firms may sell used merchandise or offer trade-in programs.

Seasonality of Sales

The fourth quarter is critical for toy and game stores and extremely important for hobby stores.

Competition from Online Retail

The advent of online retail has fundamentally altered the toy and video game markets.

Industry size & Structure

The average hobby, toy, or game store operates out of a single location, employs about 24 workers, and generates $4-5 million annually.

    • The hobby, toy, and game store industry consists of about 4,500 firms that employ 106,200 workers and generates about $21 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom; the top 50 companies account for 86% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms include Tru Kids (new parent of Toys ‘R’ Us), Gamestop, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Jo-Ann Stores. Large chains may have locations outside of the US.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Hobby, Toy and Game Stores Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Nov 1, 2023 - Flat Sales Expected for Industry
                                  • Lower consumer sentiment, continued high price levels, and a shift toward online shopping are factors expected to limit growth in the US hobby, toy, and game stores industry, which is projected to decline at a less than 1% CAGR from 2022 to 2027, according to a recent Inforum forecast. This rate is slower than the projected growth of the overall economy. Employment levels in the industry have remained relatively consistent year to date, and employment costs have been stable as wages have stayed steady.
                                  • Consumers are expected to spend an average of $875 on gifts, decorations, food, and seasonal items for the winter holidays, according to the latest National Retail Federation (NRF) survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. The 2023 projection is $42 more than 2022 and aligns with the average holiday budget in the past five years. Consumers are expected to spend about $620 on gifts and $255 on seasonal decorations, candy, and food. About 92% of US adults will celebrate an event such as Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, and more than 40% of shoppers will begin their holiday shopping before November. Top shopping destinations include online (58%), department stores (49%), discount stores (48%), and grocery stores and supermarkets (44%). Popular gifts planned include gift cards (55%), clothing or accessories (49%), books, video games, or other media (28%), and personal care or beauty items (25%). Gifts of experience are becoming more popular with holiday shoppers, with 23% planning to give one, compared to 19% in 2021.
                                  • Consumer confidence levels fell in October 2023, marking three consecutive months of declines, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index declined to 102.6 in October 2023 from 104.2 in September 2023. According to Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, “Write-in responses showed that consumers continued to be preoccupied with rising prices in general, and for grocery and gasoline prices in particular. Consumers also expressed concerns about the political situation and higher interest rates. Worries around war/conflicts also rose, amid the recent turmoil in the Middle East.” Peterson added that the decline in consumer confidence was evident across householders aged 35 and up, and not limited to any one income group. Plans to purchase autos and appliances rose in October 2023, while plans to buy a home within the next six months weakened.
                                  • More than 60% of hourly employees plan to leave their positions in the next 12 months, according to a new report in Chain Store Age. The “State of the Hourly Workforce” report by workforce management platform Legion Technologies surveyed 1,500 employees and 600 managers. Nearly 65% of workers said they plan to leave their current industry altogether. Not enough schedule flexibility, not enough benefits, and undesirable working conditions are the top factors that make an hourly job undesirable. Pay issues were also raised by respondents. More than 60% of hourly employees want to be paid every week, and getting paid early (early wage access) is becoming a differentiator for employers.
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