Economy & Politics

Podcast “Even in recessions, people spend money for their children”

Michael Sieber has been managing Simba Dickie since 2004Sebastian Lock

This year the Germans rediscovered playing – toy manufacturers’ business is booming. The dealers expect that sales will increase by eight percent to 3.7 billion euros. Some manufacturers even struggle with delivery problems during the important Christmas business. “Corona time is family time,” says the toy association happily. Puzzles and board games in particular are doing well, including classics like “Uno” or “The Settlers of Catan”.

Germany’s largest toy manufacturer Simba Dickie also felt the lockdown and the trend towards home office this year. “We certainly benefit from the whole situation that people go on vacation less, maybe also push back larger purchases,” said the boss, Michael Sieber, in the podcast “Zero Hour”. “It has always been the case that money is also spent on children in recessions.”

Simba Dickie’s business with playhouses and plastic slides has been going well since spring – the entire outdoor area has grown. Behind the group from Fürth are 20 well-known brands such as Bobby Car, Eichhorn, Noris Spiele and Schuco model cars. The traditional Märklin brand has also belonged to the family, which is run by Sieber’s son Florian, since 2013.

“The model railroad is alive,” Sieber reported. “We also have extremely strong demand in our service area, where people call and want to know how to design such a system from the start. Years ago it was still said: This is only for old men. We have been working for years to inspire young children again. It is now paying off. And that’s a typical example of products from the good old days. “

The online business in particular is booming

However, toy manufacturers are only experiencing the boom in the German market – in other European countries, but also in markets such as Russia, Turkey and India, customers are holding back. The Simba Dickie Group, which had sales of around EUR 700 million in 2019, is also struggling with delivery problems, and the sickness rate has risen in some factories.

As in other segments, online business in the toy sector is growing strongly. “Because the inner cities are empty, the big winners are online retailers, first and foremost, of course, Amazon,” said Sieber. Online’s share of the overall market is already 40 percent. The lockdown policy is now reinforcing this trend. “However, we have not yet had the problem of toy stores being stormed. It’s more about getting customers in at all. “

Hear in the new episode of “The Zero Hour”,

  • why of all things “painting by numbers” is running in this crisis,
  • why Michael Sieber is not afraid of the Playstation,
  • what insider tip Sieber has for Christmas

You can find all episodes directly at Audio Now, Apple or Spotify or via Google.


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