Industry Updates

June 13, 2023
Toy Association & Clamour Unveil Influencers' Top Toy Picks for
Spring & Summer '23

As the official start of summer kicks off this Memorial Day weekend, the “Best of Spring & Summer 2023 Influencer Choice List,” presented by The Toy Association™ and powered by Clamour, unveiled the hottest toys and games of the season as voted on by top-tier toy and family content creators. Families are invited to shop the list of toys below. “The ‘Best of Spring & Summer 2023 Influencer Choice List’ offers families a trusted selection of top toys, from active outdoor toys and travel-ready games to creative toys that will keep young minds engaged over summer break,” said Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications at The Toy Association. “This year’s list highlights a diverse assortment of innovative products that are sure to inspire many hours of fun-filled, skill-building play in the coming months.” | More Information 

U.S. Consumer Confidence Slides to Six-Month Low
U.S. consumer confidence sunk to a six-month low in May as Americans’ assessment of the current state of the labor market and the outlook for business conditions slipped. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell in May to 102.3 (1985=100), down from an upwardly revised 103.7 in April. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—decreased to 148.6 (1985=100) from 151.8 last month. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—decreased slightly to 71.5 (1985=100) from 71.7. The Expectations Index has now remained below 80—the level associated with a recession within the next year—every month since February 2022, with the exception of a brief uptick in December 2022. | More Information 

Industry Updates

May 19, 2023
Imports Expected to Remain Below 2022 Most of This Year 
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major container ports is climbing back from a nearly three-year low in February but is expected to remain well below last year’s levels heading into this fall, according to the Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Consumers are still spending, and retail sales are expected to increase this year, but we’re not seeing the explosive demand we saw the past two years,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Congestion at the ports has largely gone away as import levels have fallen, but other supply chain challenges remain, ranging from trucker shortages to getting empty containers back to terminals. We were pleased by recent reports of progress related to the West Coast port labor negotiations but will continue to monitor the situation closely until there is a new agreement ratified by both parties.” | More Information

Outdoor Retailer Summer Show Returns with New Floorplan 
Outdoor Retailer reported it changed its floor plan for the upcoming summer show, June 19-21, in Salt Lake City, UT, to be organized by activity. The floor plan works in zones: Camp & Hike, Climb, Lifestyle, Overland & Travel, Retail Services, Run & Cycle, Snow (Winter), Sourcing, and Water (Summer). The Venture Out section will include outdoor brands and advocacy organizations with integrated education spaces. A new area, The Hub, will include The Camp education area, the tent zone, matchmaking, and workspace. OR will launch a new website timed with the show that includes new icons for each activity zone and an “enhanced” exhibitor list to aid attendees with on-site navigation.  | More Information

NRF Says Retail Sales Rose in April as Consumers ‘Remained Engaged’ 
Retail sales bounced back in April, showing both month-over-month and year-over-year growth, the National Retail Federation said. The U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales in April were up 0.4% from March and up 1.6% year over year. In March, sales were down 0.7% month over month but up 2.4% year over year. | More Information

Industry Updates

May 5, 2023
Ignik Grows Product Line, Launches Tank Accessories
Ignik, a Bainbridge Island-based brand, expanded its product line with new offerings in propane tank accessories. The 20LB Tank Case/Seat and 20LB Tank Tote make transporting and hauling large-scale propane tanks “seamless.” Both tanks are made with 900 denier polyester fabric, rigid corrugated plastic, foam-reinforced base, and Molle webbing, which allows for attachment of other gear, accessories and secure transport. The 20LB Tank Tote is constructed with wrapped webbing handles on each side. Its Case/Seat offers a reinforced lid that doubles as a seat when shut and a removable padded shoulder strap for carry. Both the Tank Tote and Case/Seat propane carrying cases “cradle and protect the tank from impact.” When not used to transport propane, both store extra gear and beverages and could double as a camp trash can. | More Information 

U.S. Consumer Confidence Dips to Lowest Level Since July 
According to the Conference Board, U.S. consumer confidence dropped in April to the lowest since July on more pessimistic views about the economic outlook, even as current conditions improved. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which measures attitudes toward the economy and the job market, fell to 101.3 in April, down from 104 in March, marking the lowest level since July 2022. The Conference Board’s Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—increased to 151.1 (1985=100) from 148.9 last month. | More Information 

ICAST Brings Global Recreational Fishing Trade to Orlando in July 
Celebrating its 66th year, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades—better known as ICAST—returns to Orlando, Fla. and the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) from July 11-14, for the planet’s largest sportfishing trade show. Produced annually by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the show is the largest, single event for the recreational fishing trade. “ICAST is the cornerstone of the global sportfishing industry,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “ICAST is where connections are made that create business opportunities for our industry. It’s also where most new products make their debut into the fishing marketplace.” ICAST offers more than 12,000 attendees representing dozens of countries the opportunity to see and interact with thousands of products from hundreds of manufacturers displaying colorful lures, clothing and watercraft, glowing marine electronics and multi-hued rods and reels. Tackle manufacturers, retailers, distributors and a host of global media all mingle at this once-a-year event. | More Information 

Industry Updates

April 25, 2023
Less Common Firearm Sales: Do You Know these FFL Compliance Rules
There are multiple situations of uncommon sales that gun retailers may find themselves facing.  Some may include online sales, sales to customers with dual residency, and the effect a customer's CCW has or does not have on background checks and waiting period requirements. This article highlights some of the more uncommon types of gun sales that may occur in retail and how merchants should handle these situations and following the proper and legal procedures that are required. For more information go to or click the link | More Information 

Report: Year-Over-Year Online Prices Fell Again in March but Apparel  Shows Increases
Adobe reported that online prices in March 2023, as tracked via the Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI)*, powered by Adobe Analytics, fell 1.7 percent year-over-year (YoY), marking the seventh consecutive month of YoY price decreases with over half of the categories (10 of 18) tracked by Adobe seeing falling prices on an annual basis. On a monthly basis, online prices in March remained flat (up 0.03 percent) versus February. Eight categories experienced YoY price increases, including personal care, office supplies, pet products, groceries, non-prescription drugs, tools/home improvement, medical equipment/supplies and apparel. | More Information 

NRF Says Retail Sales ‘Moderated’ in March but Still Sees ‘Positive Growth’ for 2023
Retail sales slowed in March, but spending was still higher than the same time last year, the National Retail Federation said. “Retail sales moderated in March after posting strong gains in the first two months of the year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Continued easing of inflation and the overall strength of the job market and wages are keeping the fundamentals of the consumer economy strong and should support their ability to spend on household priorities through 2023. Retailers recognize the pressure on consumers from increased prices in services and experiences, and the impact of higher interest rates, and are prioritizing product mix, competitive pricing and convenience to help consumers stretch their budgets.” | More Information 

Study: Global Supply Chain Volatility Falls To Lowest Level Since July 2020 
The GEP Global Supply Chain Volatility Index* concluded that global supply chains operate more efficiently today, signaling the lowest stress level since July 2020. GEP’s Global Supply Chain Volatility Index, produced by S&P Global and GEP, fell to 0.32 in March from 0.48 in February. GEP found that although global demand for raw materials and components remained subdued, the trend has improved since hitting its trough in December 2022. Asian purchasing managers increased their component orders again in March, with manufacturers in China and India driving the gains. In Europe and the U.S., demand for raw materials and components is no longer falling as rapidly as companies continue to draw down excess warehouse inventories. | More Information 


Industry Updates

April 7, 2023
NRF Forecasts 2023 Retail Sales to Grow Between 4% and 6%
The National Retail Federation issued its annual forecast, anticipating that retail sales will grow between 4% and 6% in 2023. In total, NRF projects that retail sales will reach between $5.13 trillion and $5.23 trillion this year. | More Information 

Toy Association & Clamour to Reveal Best Spring & Summer Toys  of 2023 as Chosen by Influencers 

Toy and game companies are invited to submit their most creative and innovative products to be voted on by leading influencers with millions of social media followers and monthly views. Chosen products will be named to the official “Best of Spring & Summer 2023 Influencer Choice List,” presented by The Toy Association and powered by Clamour, producers of the largest industry summit from professional online video influencers. The influencers from the Clamour network who will be casting their votes are required to have a minimum monthly following of at least one million views on their main platform and a social reach of more than half a million followers. Influencers will review each submitted product’s details (including photos and physical product, if available), before voting for their favorites. Voting will take place online from April 26 to May 5. No employees or representatives of Clamour or The Toy Association will have any role in determining the selected products. | More Information 

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