The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted toys and games in South Africa. In traditional toys and games, the pandemic led to a rise in demand for certain products such as games and puzzles, dolls and accessories and construction, as friends and families spent more time at home during lengthy lockdowns, while other categories witnessed constrained sales in 2020.
The initial hard lockdown spanned from 26 March to 30 April 2020. During this time, borders were closed to tourists, while interprovincial travel was banned, and domestic and international tourist flights ceased.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to adapt, to ensure survival during a challenging economic (and operational) climate in 2020. For instance, LEGO South Africa, the leader in construction, reported strong year-on-year revenue growth, as it innovated to reach consumers online.
The year saw a massive shift in the distribution of toys and games, induced by the national lockdown and associated closure of physical retail outlets. While all sales of non-essential products (including toys and games) were prohibited for over a month, the reopening of these sales saw a shift towards e-commerce, as companies navigated remaining relevant during lockdown.
Sales of toys and games are expected to remain buoyant in the forecast period, as COVID-19 has encouraged consumers to seek more home entertainment options. This is expected to drive sales across both traditional toys and games and video games.
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