In mid-September of 2010/ Emily Harris, vice president of New Heritage Doll Company's production division, was weighing project proposals for the company's upcoming capital budgeting meetings in October. Two proposals stood out based on their potential to strengthen the division's innovative product lines and drive future growth. However, due to constraints on financial and managerial resources, Harris knew it was possible that the firm's capital budgeting committee would decline to approve both projects. She also knew that New Heritage's licensing and retail divisions would promote compelling projects of their own. Consequently, Harris had to be prepared to recommend one of her projects over the other.
The Doll Industry
Revenues in the U.S. toy and game industry totaled $42 billion in 2008 and were projected to increase by 4.6% per year to $52.5 billion by 2013. The market was divided into two broad segments: video games (48%) and traditional toys and games (52%). The second segment was further divided into infant/preschool toys (14.5%), dolls (14.1%), outdoor & sports toys (12.3%), and other toys & games (59.1%) including arts and crafts, plush toys, action figures, vehicles, and youth electronics. The U.S. market for toys and games was dominated by large global enterprises that enjoyed economies of scale in design, production, and distribution. Revenues were highly seasonal; the largest selling season in the United States coincided with the winter holiday period.
Within the toy and game segment, U.S. retail sales of dolls totaled S3.1 billion in 2008 and were projected to grow by 3% per year to S3.6 billion by 2013. The doll category included large, soft, and mini dolls, as well as doll clothing and other accessories. The phenomenon of "age compression"— the tendency of younger children to acquire dolls that had traditionally been designed for older girls—reduced growth in the "baby-doll" sub-segment.... [continues]
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