Bulgarian toy retailer Hippoland expects its sales to shrink in half this year due to the effects of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, local media reported. Sales in 2019 remained unchanged compared to 2018, as they were negatively affected by the demographic crisis in Bulgaria and the global trend which sees kids abandon toys at an earlier age in favour of new technologies, Marian Kolev, founder and majority owner of Hippoland, said in a recent interview for local business news outlet Capital.bg, published on Thursday. Hippoland generated sales of 65 million levs ($36.4 million/33.2 million euro) and a net profit of 3.6 million levs in 2018, according to its most recent annual financial statement. On the plus side, Kolev says factories in China, where the majority of toys are made, are beginning to restore their operations. However, the trends in private consumption in the near future remain impossible to forecast, Kolev opined. The only certain thing is that consumption will decrease, he added. Founded in 2005, Hippoland currently operates 30 stores across Bulgaria.