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Shocker: Grandparents Big Spenders on Toys

Shocker: Grandparents Big Spenders on Toys
Grandparents make up nearly one-quarter of all toy sales in the U.S., according to The NPD Group.

The findings are a part of The NPD Group’s latest report, The Power of Grandparents Within the U.S. Toy Industry. According to the study, grandparents account for roughly $7 billion of the $28 billion U.S. toy industry spending.

While parents spend the most on toys, grandparents’ spending has accelerated more than any other consumer demographic. Grandparents’ online spending has also grown greater than any other toy purchasing group.

“The toy industry is amidst unprecedented change, and toy retailers and manufacturers are leaving no stone unturned as they look to succeed and carve out additional space for themselves in the new retail environment,” says Juli Lennett, senior vice president and industry advisor, Toys, The NPD Group. “The market for grandparents is often overlooked but holds tremendous opportunity. I expect this segment will continue to grow as Baby Boomers’ children, who are mostly Millennials, enter parenthood.”

More than one-third of grandparents’ toy purchases were for children ages 2-4, with grandparents over-indexing on infant/toddler/preschool toys, outdoor and sport toys. Eighty-five percent of respondents bought their items in physical stores, while 72 percent shopped online.

Online shopping rates for the group have more than doubled with grandparents spending 3.5 times more per toy online than they do at brick-and-mortar stores. Sixty percent of grandparents who shopped at Toys “R” Us have plans to shop for toys online in the future.

“Retailers and manufacturers seeking to reach more grandparents need a solid online strategy,” says Lennett. “On top of that, as more grandparents migrate to the online channel post-Toys “R” Us, there is an important opportunity here to grow grandparent dollars.”

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