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Port Washington, NY — Seven out of 10 toy purchases are planned, with the first decision made being where to shop, according to Toy Purchase Decisions, the most recent report from leading market research company, The NPD Group.

According to the report, over three-quarters of toy buyers who make planned purchases know where they want to shop. While 90% of these retailer-driven shoppers actually make the purchase where they originally plan, when asked what they would have done if the toy they planned on buying was not available, just over 40% said they would look for the same product in a different store.

Of the unplanned purchases, nearly two-thirds are influenced by an item-related factor, with the primary reason being that the specific toy item was requested by the child. Two other competing factors include eye-catching packaging and product display. Analysis of the results also shows that price point plays a significant role in making unplanned purchases, since the two categories with the most unplanned purchases also have the lowest average retail prices.

“As we head into the critical holiday season, during which approximately 50% of annual toy revenues are generated, it’s important for manufacturers and retailers to understand just what it is that drives toy purchase decisions among parents and gift-givers,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Getting into the mind of the buyer provides crucial insight to drive key business decisions including packaging and pricing strategies, in-store promotional plans, and many other elements of the marketing mix to optimize holiday sales.”

Among all toy shoppers, a convenient store location and pricing are the most influential factors for choosing a retailer. The next set of most influential factors includes assortment and selection. Results of the study also show that close to three-quarters of toy shoppers prefer one-stop shopping over visiting specialty stores, supporting an obvious advantage in the mass merchant channel.

The vast majority of toy buyers (78%) say they prefer to buy in stores versus online because they want the ability to see the products before purchasing them.

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