Overall, toys and games performed well in South Korea in 2020, seeing a double-digit increase in current value terms. The arrival of COVID-19 in the country led to the temporary closure of schools, with many students not attending for over seven months and learning online until the end of 2020.
The South Korean authorities avoided lockdowns and instead pursued a strategy of early and aggressive mass testing, isolating anybody infected and tracking their movements to locate others who had come into contact with them. Within two weeks of its first case, the country was producing more than 100,000 test kits per day, and had tested over 600,000 people by early May 2020.
All the leading players in toys and games were also the leaders in video games, due to the much higher sales in this category, and the greater concentration of the competitive landscape. Online and mobile games companies NCsoft and Nexon Korea Corp therefore maintained and extended their leading positions, due to their strength in video games software, together accounting for more than a third of sales in overall toys and games.
In the first half of 2020, the sales of many store-based retailers suffered from COVID-19. Although shops were not forced to shut, with social distancing and nervousness about contracting the virus, many consumers were reluctant to venture out.
Current value growth in toys and games is expected to remain high in 2021, as COVID-19 was still present in the country in the first half of the year and consumers continued to spend more time at home than usual. However, the rate of increase is set to gradually slow over the course of the forecast period.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Toys and Games industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Toys and Games research and analysis database.
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