Target has just announced that it plans to roll out a new toy experience in stores and online, just in time for the holiday season and ahead of the first Christmas since Toys R Us liquidated its business.
The retailer said it will make a handful of major changes within the toy category, including devoting more aisles to selling toys and hosting play days in stores. Like many retailers, which include Amazon and Walmart, Target is hoping to take advantage of the toy market share, which is now up for grabs.
First, Target said that it was planning to add a quarter-million square feet of space dedicated to toys across more than 500 stores by the 2nd of November. The company stated the extra space will be “absolutely permanent,” lasting beyond the holiday season.
Target will also provide a fuller remodel to 100 stores, which will allow those locations to exhibit larger items, including electric ride-on vehicles, playhouses, and outdoor play sets, according to its statement. Within those aisles, the company will also have more than 2,500 “new and exclusive” toys for sale, or almost double of what it had offered in 2017.
Afterwards, Target will also host 25,000 “hours of joy” events across stores later this year, enabling kids to test out the latest toys and meeting fictional characters. The aim for brick-and-mortar firms this holiday season is to make shopping more experiential, offering people a reason to come inside rather shop via online stores. Meanwhile, Walmart is alsso planning to host a plethora of events I n stores for kids.
Online, Target pledges to make it easier for customers to search for “the perfect toys for every kid on their list.”
Target stated that it will release 22 million gift catalogs in homes and stores. Those would feature 15 percent more toy pages when compared with those of last year. Customers will also be able to scan items from the catalog using Target’s mobile app, where they can find more information about the product and easily add the item to their cart, the company stated.
“For many guests, finding the perfect toy to wrap up and give their little loved ones this holiday is going to be their top priority. We want them to know that Target is here to help,” said Mark Tritton, Target’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.
When Toys R Us shuttered its stores for good over the summer, it spawned a window of opportunity in the toy space, and several retail giants have already capitalized on the departure.
Meanwhile, Target has been making waves for a while, with toy sales growing for 17 quarters in a row, according to Tritton.
During late August, Walmart announced that it will grow its assortment of toys in stores by 30 percent this holiday season. This big-box retailer also announced its plans to hold more than 2,000 “retail-tainment” events in its stores this year – higher from less than 500 last year – to promote new toys.
Amazon, another major rival in the space, announced its top toy list in August and is expected to hand out toy catalogs at Whole Foods grocery stores later this year to promote them.