At the end of December, the first Christmas took place since the appearance of the coronavirus.

With drastic sanitary measures and toy stores closed just a month before the 25th, what was the impact on sales?

Europe 1 made a first assessment on Saturday with Philippe Gueydon, general manager of King Jouet.


Thousands of toys were unpacked on Friday at the foot of the tree.

But what conclusions can be drawn from this Christmas version of Covid-19 for toy stores, after their forced closure for several weeks and their reopening just one month before the holidays?

Philippe Gueydon, Director-General of King Jouet and co-president of the Federation of Shops, evokes a Christmas "in half-tone".

Containment hit the industry hard, but December sales were excellent.

"What is very positive is that we experienced a bit the same as what took place during the first deconfinement in mid-May, namely that there was really a rush in stores, "he rejoiced at the microphone of Europe 1 on Saturday.


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"We will end this month of December with a progression, it is already a very positive point for the sector", affirms the boss of the King Jouet stores, evoking an increase in sales of 5% for the month of December compared to the year 2019. Results which allow the group to achieve a positive last quarter of 2020, despite the closure in November.

"In the current context, it's a very good performance."

Online sales are increasing

During these hectic months, toy stores had to innovate to continue their sales.

This involved digitalization in particular, as Philippe Gueydon explains: "We did a lot of click and collect, drives, withdrawals, etc. People went to our websites to then go and collect the toys in stores."

He noted a significant increase in the share of digital in sales at King Jouet: from 10% of turnover in 2019 to 15% in 2020.

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But the general manager is still happy with the return of customers to the points of sale: "This shows that physical models still have a future", he concludes.