On 8th April, the CEO of Hape Holding AG., Mr. Peter Handstein - an outstanding representative of toy industry - conducted an interview with journalists from the China Central Television Financial Channel (CCTV-2). In the interview, Mr. Peter Handstein shared his opinions on how the toy industry was able to maintain steady growth despite the impact of COVID-19.
The global economy was heavily shaken by the pandemic during 2020, yet the global toy industry achieved a stable increase in sales. Specifically, last year, the toy industry saw a 2.6% sales increase on the Chinese consumer market, and as a leading corporation in the toy industry, Hape witnessed 73% sales growth in the first quarter of 2021. The growth of the Chinese market has gone hand-in-hand with a growing demand for high quality toys for families in China, and Hape firmly believes that the Chinese market will still be the main stage in relation to the company’s sales goals over the next 5 to 10 years, since the Chinese market still has enormous potential. According to Peter, the account for the Chinese market share of the group's overall global business will be increased from 20% to 50%.
Aside from these factors, the stay-at-home economy has developed dramatically during the pandemic, and the explosive growth of early educational products is testament to this. The educational wooden-touch pianos developed by Hape and Baby Einstein products have benefitted from the stay-at-home economy, becoming one of the best choices for families who wish to enjoy their time together. The item’s sales have rocket accordingly.
Peter went on to stress that intelligent technology integrated into toys will be the next trend of the toy industry. Hape has upped its efforts in terms of developing new toys and has increased its investment in new technologies in order to strengthen its soft power and bolster the overall competitiveness of the brand.
Many companies have closed their physical stores and paid more attention to online business during the COVID-19 outbreak. On the contrary, Hape has stuck with the offline market during this tough period, and has even introduced Eurekakids (a leading Spanish toy chain store) into the Chinese market in order to support the development of physical stores as well as provide a better shopping experience to customers. Peter also emphasized that children can perceive the high-quality of a toy only through their own experiences of play and exploration. Currently, online shopping is gradually becoming the main method for consumers to choose their products, but we stand firm on the belief that online shopping cannot be independent from the experience of shopping in physical stores. We believe that the sales of the online market will be increased as our offline services improve. Therefore, we propose that the upgrading of the brand will only be realized through the balanced development of both the online and offline markets.
And finally, as ever, Hape endeavors to bring more qualified toys to the market for the next generation to enjoy.