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Christmas Carries Annual Toy Market on Shoulders

Christmas in Hungary is expected to generate half of the total HUF 45 billion revenues in the toy market this year, according to data recently published by toy retailer Regio Játék. Online shopping is on the increase, although visiting malls is still more popular, according to a survey by online shop Jófogás, which thinks people will frugal with buying gifts, similarly to last year.

Regio Játék included 2,500 participants in its research, looking to uncover the surfacing tendencies expected during the Christmas holidays, in terms of spending on toys. One-third of the parents involved said they are planning to spend HUF 5,000-10,000 on gifts for their children per capita, while 57% of them claimed they would spend more than HUF 10,000 per child.

“Along the lines of our estimates, almost half of the approximately HUF 45 billion toy market will be realized during the holiday season. In this period parents buy more – and more expensive – toys for their children,” Dávid Gyaraki, marketing leader at Regio Játék says.  

The research also unveils that creative toys, board games and LEGO sets are the most popular toys to lie under the Christmas tree waiting for excited children to open up their boxes. Each child will find two or three gifts under the tree. One-third of the children under 14 will receive books, in addition to the aforementioned popularities, while children under six will either receive toy cars or dolls.

Rapid Online Growth

While less than a decade ago Hungarians were weary of placing orders online, not to mention being put off by making online payment upfront, nowadays, purchasing in the online space using mobile phones is growing rapidly. A stunning 61% of the participants Régio Játék’s study said they are planning to bag at least some gifts online, chiefly because prices can be easily compared, the method is more comfortable and involves no need to stand in line at counters.

“Compared to last year, the number of purchases made in web stores has grown by 20%, and these transactions initiated from a mobile phone surged by 70%,” Gyaraki adds. He also notes that online discount schemes seem to be efficient tools for grabbing attention, as every second participant included in the Regio Játék research said they keep an eye out for such possibilities. Half of the participants, therefore, start their online spending spree in November.

What was originally the firmly U.S.-tradition of Black Friday has now taken deep root in Europe. As such, Black Friday appears to have become a point of reference for embarking on the Christmas gift hunt. Seven out of ten participants in the Regio research expects better prices during the Black Friday period this year, with the most popular items being toys, electronic devices, household items and books.

Sparing the Dimes

Although the Christmas spirit has for many become a phenomenon tightly-knit with awarding presents to each other closely connected with commercialism, people in Hungary do seem to take special care to be economical with their expenses. Online web store Jófogás carried out online research that has revealed that the majority do not expect to spend more this year than last year, saying roughly HUF 10,000-50,000 will be spent during this Christmas. Despite the increasing tendency in online shopping, visiting malls on a physical rather than virtual gift hunt is still more popular than digital shopping, the Jófogás survey adds.

More than 10,000 participants answered the online survey of Jófogás this year. Interestingly, 38% of the respondents said they are planning to get gifts for six of their relatives, while 40% of the participants are trying to keep expenses under HUF 50,000. One-quarter of the people expect to spend between HUF 50,000-100,000, while 8% will spend between HUF 100,000-200,000, 3% say they will spend between HUF 200,000-300,000, 4% will spend HUF 300,000-400,000. Not surprisingly, a tiny fraction reckon they can spend more than HUF 400,000 on their loved ones.

The majority of survey takers (more precisely 52%) expect to stay under the expense level of last year, while 13% are calculating with higher expenses, and 35% simply did not know.

Some 68% say they will go window shopping while only 32% are planning to carry out their Christmas shopping online. Apparently, people like to be on the safe side, as 36% will start getting the gifts at the beginning of December, while a stunning 30% had already started gathering in their gift harvest during the fall. A thin 16% will start purchasing goods one week prior to the holidays, and 19% likes to burn both sides of the candle, taking the excitement of last minute buying.

Buying second-hand products does not only show frugality but displays how environmentally conscious you are too. An increasing 36% said they would look for second-hand products. The users of Jófogás, which is primarily a second-hand online bourse, are reckoned to have saved 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide by buying used stuff. This equals to 45 days of no traffic on the roads of Budapest at all. The best of both worlds: saving money while saving Mother Nature.