Toy store bosses say toys should be classified as ‘essential retail’ before Christmas


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Toy stores have said the toys should be classified as “essential retail” before Christmas.

In an open letter to the prime minister, industry bosses called on the government to add the products to the list of essential retailers – urging that they be allowed to operate from December 2, when the current lockdown in England will be lifted.

The toy industry accounts for £ 3.2 billion to the UK economy with 50 percent of toys sold in the last quarter of the year.

But the forced shutdown of physical toy retailers could seriously dampen the Christmas spirit, with the UK industry risking a loss of £ 820million in December if they don’t reopen.

Companies are currently trying to meet demand online and click-and-collect services, but with limited messaging slots, retailers won’t be able to keep up with the approach of Christmas in Britain, according to the letter.

Industry leaders insisted they were already installed and ready to operate in safe, Covid-compliant conditions and urged consumers to have access to toys as early in the season as possible to “distribute the request and prevent last minute panic purchases.

“This time is crucial for the survival of toy businesses across the UK and without the November and December trade many businesses will not survive,” warned Andrew Laughton, chairman of the British Toy and Hobby Association and Alan Simpson, president of the Toy Retailers Association. .

Speaking to Boris Johnson, they added: “Limiting the retail sale of toys to this crucial time of year will damage the toy industry and endanger the safety of children.

“We would greatly appreciate your support in adding toys to the list of essentials so that we can continue to support children and families across the country. “

They went on to point out that the toys are “essential play tools to aid in the development and learning of the child” and have been particularly valuable to parents throughout the lockdown.

“Please don’t allow Covid to steal Christmas from children and families across the country,” they said.

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