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On the Call: Hasbro COO discusses retail inventory

NEW YORK (AP) — Toy maker Hasbro Inc. said Monday that its third-quarter net income fell 4 percent, hurt by weakness it its boys and preschool categories and the stronger dollar, but results topped analyst expectations. Here Chief Operating Officer David Hargreaves discusses how retailers are handling their inventory — the products they have on store shelves — this holiday season.

QUESTION: When you talk to your retail customers, has anything changed in terms of how they're approaching the holiday this year?

RESPONSE: Well, clearly, their buying patterns are later and we recognized that last November, when we said that. ... We will work with our retailers to deliver more in line with consumer demand particularly in the U.S. so we sort of foresaw that, and it certainly is happening.

I think in terms of, as we look at their expectations for retail, I think they're looking forward to a good year, certainly consumer demand has held up pretty well. And I think in September, retail sales did a little bit better than people were expecting. So I think they are sort of cautiously optimistic, and they are just buying later. The fact that our inventory at retail is down ... 22 percent at this time sort of confirms that.

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