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Licensed Toys Tipped to Take the Lead in Spain's Bumper Xmas Sales

Retailers across Spain are anticipating a 4% upturn in festive sales this year, with toys and perfumes most in demand.

Photo: Set to go with a bang: Spain readies itself for Xmas shopping boom. (Shutterstock.com)
Set to go with a bang: Spain readies itself for Xmas shopping boom.
Photo: Set to go with a bang: Spain readies itself for Xmas shopping boom. (Shutterstock.com)
Set to go with a bang: Spain readies itself for Xmas shopping boom.

Spanish retailers are anticipating a bumper Christmas, bolstered by expectations of impressive sales in both the fragrance and licensed toys sectors. Overall, spend across the 2016 festive period is predicted to rise by about 4% year-on-year, according to Deloitte's annual Christmas Shopping Survey.

The survey indicated that Spanish shoppers are expected to spend about €682 (US$724) each in the run-up to Christmas this year, up from €655 in 2015. This sees the country ranked second in terms of Christmas spend among the European nations, with Denmark only marginally in front with a per-head spend of €689. With a figure 30% above the European average (€517), Spain is notably ahead of some of the larger economies in the region, including Germany (€529) and Russia (€348).

In terms of just how Spanish consumers allocate their spend, unsurprisingly, gift-buying accounts for the largest single expense (€262). This is followed by food (€198), travel (€126) and leisure (€69).

One sector that is expected to particularly benefit from the festive largesse is licensed toys, with Christmas typically accounting for about 65% of the annual sales of such items in Spain. Acknowledging the importance of licensed products to the toy sector, Jacobo Fernández, Toy Purchasing Director for El Corte Inglés, Spain's largest department store group, said: "The sheer volume of licensed toys available will have a huge impact this year, with such items now accounting for about 40% of the whole sector."

In terms of the most popular licences among younger Spanish children, PAW Patrol leads the way, closely followed by Star Wars. A number of other additions to the licensed roster are also expected to attract a loyal following this year, most notably Finding Dory, Blaze and the Monsters Machine, Super Wings and Yo-Kai Watch. One recent entrant that is expected to perform well is Trolls, the latest animated hit from Dreamworks, which was only released last month.

Among older children and teens, items related to the Marvel and DC Comics superhero ranges are expected to remain hugely popular, as will Soy Luna merchandise, with this Disney-produced teen soap a big hit in Spain. In terms of sports licences, F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid will remain the two largest franchises.

As well as toys, it is expected that four other sectors in particular will benefit from the Christmas sales bounce – perfumery, clothing, home textiles and gift items. In the case of perfumes, the Christmas period accounts for 63% of all annual sales. Purchases are skewed towards younger consumers, with both global brands and gift sets proving particularly in demand.

In the clothing sector, the most in-demand items are expected to be pyjamas, underwear, T-shirts, sweatshirts, socks and baby clothes. Overall, the Christmas period accounts for 41% of annual clothing sales in Spain.

In the cases of home textiles, this is another sector that has benefited hugely from the popularity of licensed items. Particularly popular are movie/cartoon-themed bed covers, duvets, towels and sheets. In this sector, Christmas accounts for some 36% of all sales.

Photo: Trolls: Coming to Spanish Christmas stockings this year.
Trolls: Coming to Spanish Christmas stockings this year.
Photo: Trolls: Coming to Spanish Christmas stockings this year.
Trolls: Coming to Spanish Christmas stockings this year.

It almost goes without saying that the sale of general gift items – calendars, pens, diaries, novelties and so on – goes through the roof as Christmas approaches. With 46% of all sales in this sector made at this time of year, it is collectable items that are seen as the most bankable products.

Virginia Seoane, Barcelona Consultant

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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