So then, it's officially over. The recession that is!
It was with unbridled joy that we greeted the news in the hive that during the busiest retail quarter of the year, Q4 in 2009 saw a growth of an entire 0.1% for the UK. Salvation is upon us.
Toys and perhaps less noticeably gifts, have had a turbulent 12 months or so, as noted by the industry wigs at the 2010 Toy Fair in London. However, the storm has been weathered according to the British Toy and Hobby Association Chairman, Roger Dyson, although the comment that "many suppliers and retailers are stronger than they were a year ago" is upbeat to the extent that I want the drug testers round to his office pronto!
On the ground, so to speak, there is still a heck of a way to go to regain consumer confidence and with it, their spending.
Some small independents will have benefited from the demise of Woolworths in 2009, but there will be no such boost in 2010. With interest rates, the increase in VAT and a general election on the way, expect uncertainty to continue well into the year.
Perhaps we should lobby the government to introduce a toy scrappage scheme for 2010?!
Watch this space, chums.