Customers place an advertisement for a “Closing” sale at a Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. retail store.

Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

All was not well in Toy Land in 2018.

Sales in the industry fell 2% last year as toy makers experienced their first Christmas without Toys R Us in more than 60 years, according to a new report.

In the United States, customers spent $ 21.6 billion on toys last year, less than the $ 22 billion spent on action figures, dolls and games in 2017, according to the NPD Group market research .

“Following the announcement of the Toys’R ‘Us liquidation last year, there was a lot of speculation about what would happen to the industry, with some predicting double-digit declines,” said Juli Lennett, vice -President and industrial advisor at NPD Group, said in a statement.

Lenett called the 2% drop a “strong performance” given the scale of changes in the landscape over the past year. Toys R Us was estimated to make up 10-15% of all toy sales before it closed in June.

Refurbishments at Target stores include new toy departments.

Target Source

Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink said NPD figures imply that toy sales fell 6% in the fourth quarter and suggest that retailers were able to recoup around 35% of the market share displaced by Toys R Us.

While a number of retailers, including Target, Walmart, and even drugstores, expanded their toy sections over the past holiday season, there were still far fewer shelves featuring toys in 2018 than there were years ago. previous ones. The loss of shelf space seemed to disproportionately affect items like stuffed toys, construction sets, and sports toys.

Nostalgia for the loss of Toys R Us boosted toy sales early in the year, but that wasn’t enough to fuel sales for the entire year. First-half toy sales rose 7%, according to NPD. Wissink said about $ 650 million to $ 700 million in toy sales were carried over to the first half of the year.