The hobby games channel continued its unprecedented growth in 2019, up at least 5% from 2018, behind double digit growth in collectible games and RPGs and solid years in other categories.  This is the 11th consecutive year of growth for sales in hobby game stores in the U.S. and Canada, a string that began in 2009.

Retailer health improved in 2019, as retailers took a more cautious mode when buying new products and curbed the extensive inventory overstocks and markdowns that had marred margins in 2018. Those changes improved gross and net margins for game retailers, leading to a lot less angst as we did our post-year-end interviews this year vs. last.

While more careful buying was positive for retailers, it made it a tough year for publishers, especially mid-sized publishers that continued to produce games of similar quality but found sell-ins plummeting.  And with continued growth in the number of game Kickstarters and of products flowing to trade, the number of games being produced means that sales are continually divided between more and more products.

For charts of the top games in five categories, see:
Top Collectible Games – Fall 2019
Top Hobby Channel Board Games – Fall 2019
Top Hobby Channel Card and Dice Games – Fall 2019
Top Non-Collectible Miniature Games – Fall 2019
Top Roleplaying Games – Fall 2019

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