December 1, 2009

NRF: More Black Friday Shoppers, Fewer Dollars Spent

According to the National Retail Federation, more shoppers visited stores and websites over the Black Friday weekend, but average spending per person dropped. The NRF’s Black Friday shopping survey, conducted by BIGResearch, reports that this year Black Friday shoppers totaled approximately 195 million, up from 172 million last year. Average spending per person dropped from $372.57 in 2008 to $343.31 in 2009. The NRF reports that total spending reached approximately $41.2 billion.
According to the survey, toys were the most popular products for Black Friday shoppers. Nearly one-third of shoppers over the weekend (32.2 percent) purchased toys, an increase of 12.9 percent compared to 2008. Other popular goods were books (40.3 percent), personal care or beauty items (22.4 percent), gift cards (21.2 percent), and sporting goods (12.6 percent).
Almost half of Black Friday weekend shoppers visited at least one department store (49.4 percent), a 12.9 percent increased from last year. Shoppers also visited discount retailers (43.2 percent), electronic stores (29 percent), clothing stores (22.9 percent), grocery stores (19.6 percent), and outlet stores (7.8 percent). More than a quarter of shoppers (28.5 percent) shopped online.
There was also an increased in early-risers for Black Friday. According to the NRF’s survey, 31.2 percent of shoppers were in stores by 5 a.m. compared to 23.3 percent who were in stores by that time in 2008.

E-tailers Report Strong Black Friday Results

E-tailersOnline retailers such as and have reported an increase in Black Friday sales compared to the shopping event in 2008. reported that this year’s Black Friday was its best ever, surpassing its Black Friday record set in 2008. The online retailer’s third-party marketplace section saw a 120 percent increase in orders compared to last year. reported 43 percent more sales compared to 2008. The top stores visited by eBates customers were Wal-Mart, Target, Old Navy, Sears, and Best Buy.
According to EBay, its PayPal division processed 20 percent more transactions on Black Friday 2009 compared to last year. PayPal reported a nearly 650 percent increase in mobile online payments compared to last year. Paypal says the official start of the holiday season was November 16, which is when the e-commerce business first saw an increase in transactions.
Shopping channel QVC also reported its highest level of Black Friday sales ever with an increase of 60 percent compared to last year.

Reeves International to Distribute TOLO Toys

TOLO carReeves International, Inc. has been appointed the exclusive U.S. distributor for Tolo, a brand of infant, toddler, and pre-school toys. Tolo is sold in more than 70 countries.






TIF and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Partner for Toy Distribution

The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to provide toys and gifts to children of United States active duty and reserve personnel. TIF, through The Toy Bank, will provide the products to members of BGCA who are located on American military bases that have high deployment rates. The initiative will be the foundation’s first national toy distribution program to every branch of the military.
The partnership will launch with a toy distribution event at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, December 15. TIF reports that approximately 150,000 American children have at least one parent who is currently deployed, and 500,000 American children are a part of a military family.

Playmates Toys Reintroduces Rainbow Brite

Rainbow BriteRainbow Brite, an ‘80s favorite, returns as a doll with a makeover. Master toy licensee Playmates Toys will introduce a new Rainbow Brite doll collection at Toys “R” Us and Target stores in spring 2010. The collection will include 10-inch dolls of Rainbow Brite and her two friends Moonglow and Tickled Pink, fashioned in their signature bright dresses, accessories, and boots. The collection also includes a 15-inch Rainbow Brite doll and the gang’s horse companions: Starlite, Shimmer, and Sunriser.
Additionally, Hallmark has launched an official website for the newest versions of Rainbow Brite at The interactive website features animated videos, games and activities, and downloads.

Famoso Picked as Mexican Toy Licensee for Caillou

CaillouCookie Jar Entertainment has appointed Famoso as the exclusive toy licensee for Caillou. The deal is for Mexico. Famoso’s range of products includes 36cm figures, bath toys, vehicles, toy trains, dolls, and a toy farm. The products are now available at major retail stores throughout Mexico such as Soriana, Jugetron, Liverpool, and Palacio de Hierro, as well as specialty stores.



ToyQuest to Produce Barbie Outdoor Toys

ToyQuest will produce a Barbie backyard play collection for girls as a part of a new licensing collaboration with Mattel, Inc.  The collection will include inflatable pools and pool toys, sand boxes and accessories, bubbles, sprinklers, chalk, garden tools, and outdoor furniture decorated in Barbie pink. The products will launch in spring 2010.

Triad Toys Signs Licensing Deal for Dexter

Triad Toys has signed a licensing deal with Showtime Networks, Inc. to develop a limited edition collectible figure basked on the network’s original series Dexter. The figure will feature over 35 points levels of articulation and exact replica accessories. An initial run of the figure of 1000 will be produced and available for sale online starting in first quarter 2010. The estimated MSRP will be $119.99. Subsequent characters will be released following Dexter.

Retailers Offer Free Shipping (Revised)

In the last Toy Report, it was written that LEGO will have free shipping on December 17. LEGO’s holiday free shipping offer will end on December 6 at 11:59 p.m. Visit for an updated list of retailers and companies who will offer free shipping this holiday season.

ESPN and Hallmark Launch New Partyware

ESPN and Hallmark PartwareESPN and Hallmark have launched a new line of personalized partyware featuring X Games themes. Buyers are able to personalize the paper plates with their own images and text at The plates are available for purchase on Hallmark’s website, and retail at $10 for ten plates.

New COO Appointed at Hit

Hit Entertainment has appointed former executive at Apax Partners Sangeeta Desai as COO. Desai will oversee business development, global brand management, consumer products, live events, marketing, and communications at the company, as well as manage the day-to-day operations of Hit.
Before joining Apax, the private equity firm that owns Hit Entertainment, Desai was a member of Goldman Sachs's UK advisory group, advising clients on M&A and corporate finance.

Borders Reports Third Quarter 2009 Results

Borders has reported its fiscal results for the third quarter ending October 31, 2009.
Total consolidated sales were $595.5 million, down 12.7 percent (86.6 million) from a year ago. Inventory was reduced by $99.1 million, which the company attributes to a reduction in multimedia inventory totaling $70.4 million. Comparable store sales declined by 12.1 percent and 7.2 percent at Borders superstores and Waldenbooks specialty retail stores, respectively. Excluding multimedia, comparable store sales at Borders declined by 8.5 percent.
On an operating basis, Borders generated a loss from continuing operations of $39.0 million or $0.65 per share, compared to a loss of $39.0 million or $0.64 per share the same quarter in 2008. Year to date, on an operating basis, the company generated a loss from continuing operations of $67.6 million or $1.12 per share compared to a loss of $80.0 million or $1.33 per share in 2008.
Debt, net of cash, at the end of the third quarter was $375.0 million, a decrease of 23 percent from the prior year’s debt, net of cash, of $112.0 million. Debt, net of cash, compared to year-end levels increased by $92.4 million, or 32.7 percent.

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