How toy retailing today is like managing financial markets.

How does successful toy retailing mirror an investment portfolio?  I learned 2 important concepts early in my career at A. C. Nielsen while servicing a very smart client, Planters/Life Savers, a division of RJR/Nabisco. She helped me learn 2 things;

1. Importance of allocation of assets/products(all the flavors of Life Savers)

2. Time horizons (base vs. seasonal sales)

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Fast forward to today in the current retail toy climate and these are absolutely critical components to our strategy.

First, we always want to balance stock across a myriad categories with no reliance on just 1 or 2. Arts/Crafts is a bedrock but very stable every year. We look at fads/hot products (eg;Fidget spinners) as gravy and never count on it. spinner girl

Secondly, we don’t like back loading or timing sales just to holidays like Christmas (which Toys R Us did more than most) in hopes they will perform. Rather a more fluent sales pattern throughout a year helps balance the ups and downs and spikes you do see. Just like investing, a little risk each month is better than betting the farm.

  • Gift Toppers

Yes just like financial markets there is more risk creeping into the business based on many factors, however, these 2 concepts, implemented properly allow a retailer to find the right balances. Smart lady she was.       #nielsen

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