The downfall of Toys ‘R’ Us has left a fun-shaped hole in the retail landscape that Walmart and Target both are trying to fill. The retailers are adding thousands of new toys to their lineups, including exclusive offerings, to seize the opportunity for a holiday sales boost.
Walmart will expand its collection of toys by 30% in-store and 40% online. The selection will include exclusive products and curated playthings from 25 toy influencers, who also will develop online content throughout the year, including advice, reviews and recommendations.
The retail giant also will host in-store events, including its first National Play Day on Sept. 8 at more than 1,500 stores. Children will have a chance to play with toys, pose for pictures and take home giveaways. The event will be followed by a series of demonstrations that will be held nationwide through Nov. 1.
Walmart is appealing to parents with a list of the season’s 40 hottest toys as chosen by kids. The retailer has added a site dedicated to the list, which also is available in-store.
"Walmart has always been a destination for toys,” said Anne Marie Kehoe, VP of Toys at Walmart U.S. in a statement. “Parents shop us for our wide selection of top brands and because we bring fun to stores in ways that only Walmart can. But today, we are making even bigger investments in the category to ensure we have the widest selection of toys at the best prices and an unmatched in-store and online experience to show customers the best place to shop for toys is Walmart.”
Target has released its own hot product list with the Bullseye’s Top Toys Hub. The retailer will expand its overall toy collection in time for the holidays, adding 2,500 new and exclusive products both in-store and online.
However, the retail giants are not the only companies filling the holiday toy hole: Party City is piloting 50 Toy City pop-up stores alongside its seasonal Halloween City shops, while FAO Schwarz will reopen its flagship New York City store in November.