Pictured: Walmart-exclusive boxes from Loot Crate
Walmart has been busy adding digitally native brands to its arsenal through acquisitions, most recently Eloquii. But the retail giant has just added a new flavor to its in-store offering through an exclusive partnership with Loot Crate, a subscription box company focused on selling pop culture merchandise and collectibles.
Walmart will introduce a new, dedicated collectibles section in the entertainment department of more than 3,500stores starting Oct. 13, officially becoming the exclusive brick-and-mortar retail home for Loot Crate products.
Loot Crate merchandise will now be available for Walmart customers to purchase in store, debuting six different themed boxes featuring top movie, TV and game franchises reimagined as limited-edition collectibles.
The collectibles section will include an assortment of exclusive accessories, toys, collector’s boxes and more, with products from Funko, McFarlane Toys, and CultureFly.
The move from Walmart comes more than a year after GameStop pivoted further into the pop culture collectible merchandise business, converting 200 GameStop stores into ’50/50’ concepts shared with sister retailer ThinkGeek. While GameStop has struggled throughout the past year, collectibles was a major bright spot for the video game retailer, to the tune of $636 million in revenue.
In a September conference call, GameStop interim CEO Shane Kim called the collectibles business a $12 billion market in North America alone. With such a high total, it’s easy to see why Walmart would take interest in the opportunity.
While Loot Crate appeals to all ages with its family-friendly product, Walmart likely sees a great chance to attract a Millennial audience that supports popular entertainment franchises such as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Marvel. A large majority (80%) of Loot Crate customers, called “Looters,” are 18 to 34 years old, according to Erik Reynolds, VP of Product Marketing and Communications of Loot Crate.
The news follows Walmart’s recent decision to offer more toys ahead of the holiday season to fill the gap opened by the bankruptcy and liquidation of Toys ‘R’ Us. Walmart will expand its collection of toys by 30% in-store and 40% online. The selection will include exclusive and curated products from 25 toy influencers, who also will develop online content throughout the year, including advice, reviews and recommendations.