The Spanish Association of Toy Manufacturers has launched the “Christmas is in your hands” campaign, in which apart from encouraging consumers to buy in the coming weeks, it demands the declaration of the sector as essential, taking into account the fundamental role that it has performed during the health emergency registered as a consequence of the coronavirus.
Playing is the work of childhood and toys are the instrument that makes play possible, allowing the social, physical and emotional development of children. Not in vain is one of their fundamental rights recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Various investigations carried out during the confinement period show that gambling has increased 3 to 4 hours a day and that when children have been able to go out, 66% have done so accompanied by their toys. But this need for toys has been verified in different ways in different international markets. Thus, in those markets where the sale of toys was not restricted, consumption increased significantly (Australia 19%, USA 16%, Canada 9%, Germany 9%, United Kingdom 8%, Holland 6%).
However, the situation in Spain was radically opposite. While the pets could enjoy their daily walk, the children had to endure 48 days of home confinement. And while supermarkets, hypermarkets and stores of goods considered essential could sell products for pets (including their toys), the toy store sections had to be sealed because they were not considered essential, with online being the only alternative to buy toys.
Despite the exponential growth of online shoppingEven after the period of confinement (38% of families bought toys in confinement and 88% had to do it online), a campaign through digital channels would be impossible to support in Spain, since neither online platforms nor The logistical structures, nor the available stock allow a Christmas and Kings campaign only online in Spain.
As stated by José Antonio Pastor, president of AEFJ, “this Christmas will be quite sad without family gatherings. At least, if the children have to spend them confined, let us think, this time, about their health and well-being. Italy, where the toy has been declared essential for the second confinement“.
Letters have been sent from AEFJ to all administrations, both regional and central, to work and coordinate all possible efforts so that this year all illusions are not extinguished.
Thus, in an exceptional situation like this, the sector has asked the administrations for a outstanding treatment for toy, its industry and commerce, so that children have Christmas, and well aware that the priority is health, it has made itself available to the authorities, well in advance, to adopt measures that guarantee the safety of consumers, the right from the child to the game and all the benefits that this entails, while avoiding that the economic damage in the industry and in thousands of toy stores is irreversible.
From the sector they consider that for the Magi to continue being magicians for all our children, the following demands must be addressed:
Maintenance of the logistics activity of the toy companies to be able to face the services and demand. If not, they will not be able to deliver the toys in any format, either in person or online.
Maintenance of toy retail establishments open with the limitations of hours, capacity, shifts, etc. that are considered necessary and, in addition, allow the public to collect merchandise purchased online, which is known as click and collect.
That open shops, for selling basic necessities (hypermarkets, supermarkets, kiosks and stationeries, tobacconists and others), can keep their toy store sections open, with the same security limitations as the rest of the establishment.
Exceptional measurements for the toy have a historical precedent in the USA, when in 1942 the War Production Board before the country’s entry into World War I and the prohibition of all non-essential productive activity, declared the toy industry as essential, allowing its activity with limitations on the use of essential raw materials (Order L-81). With this, the right to play of childhood was preserved, their well-being and a certain normality in their lives was guaranteed.
In the words of José Antonio Pastor: “With confinement or social distancing measures, Christmas is just around the corner, and it is possible that if the administration does nothing and the children do not anticipate the letter to the Three Kings, it will be sadder because the Kings stop being magicians “.
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