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Catch toy category manager Dan Matthews talks toy trends during COVID, Christmas and the post-pandemic environment. 

How has buying changed throughout the pandemic?

Catch carries a wide range of toys but due to COVID-19 we have definitely seen a shift towards more specific toy trends that can be used indoors.

With more time spent at home with the family during lockdown, we’ve seen an increase in demand for more family-friendly collaborative activities, such as arts and crafts, board games, educational toys, and puzzles.

Which toy brands and products have been popular?

Board games and jigsaw puzzles have been the most popular since the start of the pandemic - they were selling out almost instantly.

As restrictions started to ease in most of the country we have seen demand for outdoor toys increase with particularly strong demand for Little Tikes ride ons, as well as Razor scooters.

What do you think will be popular at Christmas?

We’re seeing a big summer ahead for outdoor toys including ride ons, inflatables, blasters, sports equipment, and sand and water tables.

Having been restricted to staying indoors for much of 2020 so far, we anticipate that parents will be trying to encourage their kids to get out and play.

In saying that, we still think jigsaw puzzles will be a popular choice this Christmas with families too.

Do you think there’ll be drop off in toy purchasing later this year, given many parents have already done a lot through this period? 

No one could have predicted a global pandemic to take up most of 2020, but at Catch we have planned as much as possible to ensure we continue business as usual as best we can.

The toy category tends to be fairly resilient so we’re confident that sales will remain positive, especially with large retail dates such as Black Friday and Christmas towards the end of the year.

How do you perceive the post-COVD environment?

Throughout the pandemic we have seen huge demand for many popular toys.

To ensure we have had a consistent flow of products, even during periods of increased customer interest, we have made sure to plan our stock levels really well.

This means that post-COVID we can continue to provide our customers with the products they love, when they need them.

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