Mark Cashmore, the CEO of Connect newsagent distributors, has left the company after it saw shares plummet by 66% (an all time low) after the price of Panini’s World Cup sticker packs increased from 50p to 80p.
Chief financial officer David Bauernfeind has also left the company following the price hike and subsequent share price fall.
The company usually makes £3m profit from the stickers however it has now slashed profit expectations down to £1.5m.
The sticker price increase caused pandemonium at the newsagent distributors, that is also expected to force it to cut the dividend.
The sticker price increase hasn’t been bad news for all retailers however, with the stickers currently the second best selling toy in the UK according to global information company The NPD Group.
Frédérique Tutt, toys global industry analyst at The NPD Group, said: “The last significant football event the UEFA 2016 European Championship had a huge impact on the toy industry. More than 24 million football-related toys were sold in the UK that’s 6% of all the toy sales by volume in the country that year.
“So far in 2018, football-related toy sales total £11 million, that’s including Premier League related toys too. And in the most recent week that we have data for, the seven days ending 19 May, £921,000 was spent on football-related toys, that’s almost £5,500 an hour. With one in eight toys sold in the UK in the third week of May being football-related, the next few weeks will give the toy sector a welcome boost.”
He added: “Sales of football-related toys almost double in Euro and World Cup years, showing just how important the sport is to the toy sector. This makes football unique in terms of its impact on toy sales as other regional and global sports competitions such as rugby, tennis and even the Olympics have yet to make a similar effect on sales.”
Sammy Ford, a mathematician at Balliol College has worked out that complete set of stickers would cost consumers £773.12.