New Reports Say Collectible Industry Sales Stalled in ’99

New Reports Say Collectible Industry Sales Stalled in ’99 – Brief Article

STEVENS, Pa.–The 1999 sales year was challenging for the majority of collectibles companies and specialty retailers, according to the annual market research study, Collectibles Industry Report 2000, published by Unity Marketing in association with the Collectibles and Platemakers Guild.

“While the total market of collectors grew to 40 million adult collectors in 1999, the sales of first-issue collectibles manufactured by companies in the industry dropped 2 percent last year,” said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing. The market for first-issue collectibles, that is items manufactured and marketed for the enjoyment of the adult collector, as opposed to the secondary market where items are bought, sold and traded between collectors, totaled $10.4 billion at retail, down from 1998’s high of $10.7 billion.

“Many factors played a part in the slowdown in collectibles sales, such as the passing of the Beanie Babies fad and the ready availability of secondary-market issues through online Internet auctions,” explained Danziger. “The primary challenge for the collectibles marketers is to meet the needs and desires of today’s collectors who are seeking out new types of collectibles and shopping for collectibles in an expanding range of venues”

In 1999 the two largest categories of collectibles, figurines and dolls, experienced a significant drop in sales. Figurines and sculpture, the largest category by sales, dropped to $3,568 million in 1999, down 7 percent from $3,822 million in 1998. Collectible dolls, the second largest category, experienced an even more dramatic drop of 12 percent, from $1,659 million to $1,453 million in 1999. “The weak performance of first-issue collectibles in these two leading product categories suggests that collectors are satisfying their collecting passion with other types of collectibles. Last year, collectible-type ornaments, boxes and musicals were the fastest growing product categories. They also are buying more secondary market issues, thus siphoning revenues away from collectibles companies. eBay with $2.8 billion in gross sales and 10 million registered users in 1999 is attracting collectors interested in vintage and more unique collectibles,” Danziger explained.

Coinciding with a drop in sales for the two leading collectible categories, collectible specialty retailers are experiencing a downturn in sales. In the past, the collectibles industry has been primarily dependent upon the specialty retailers for distribution, but in 1999 specialty retail sales were down 6 percent over 1998 levels, while Department Stores and the Internet grew. “Clearly, the collectibles market is changing and collectibles companies need to have marketing and distribution plans in place that anticipate these trends,” Danziger said.

This year’s report also revealed that specialty collectibles stores are closing their doors or sharply cutting back on the collectible lines they carry.”In 1999 there was a 19 percent decline in the total number of collectibles specialty retailers, down from 12,007 in 1998 to 9,778 nationwide. As a result, collectibles marketers can expect to see a continued decline in viable specialty retail outlets for their products,” Danziger explained.

This year’s Collectibles Industry Report details the facts, figures and trends related to the collectibles industry. Survey results from 167 collectible industry executives and 161 specialty retailers are combined in this one report. The Collectibles Industry Report, 2000 reveals the trends impacting the industry and explores industry sales and growth in 1999 by distribution channel and product form. Also analyzed are pricing trends, product themes, the demographics of the collector market, sales of limited editions and advertising and promotional spending.

This 140-page report is available for $1,250 from Unity Marketing, a marketing research and consulting firm, which unites consumer marketers with their target markets.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Pfingsten Publishing, LLC

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group