Saturday, September 1, 2018

Walmart Stepping Up to Fill the Toys R Us Void

When news of Toys R Us closing all stores in the US started circulating, among industry vets, the immediate discussion was who might fill those big, giraffe shaped shoes? The most obvious choices were Target and Walmart, who already boast massive retail space from coast to coast. It wouldn't be too difficult to expand toy sections in any number of locations. Still, my thoughts settled on Walmart who, in my neighborhood at least, seem the most willing to restructure and/or cut into space that seems to be all too often empty (of customers) alongside those well traveled toy aisles. Target took the first steps toward broadening their selection, welcoming collectors to come shop for NECA's mega popular action figures on their shelves. Now Walmart announces their plans for toy domination...

Walmart have unboxed its plans for America’s Best Toy Shop: its destination for kids’ favorite products – toys! – in its stores and on Walmart’s toy aisles are set to offer the best toys at the best prices along with more fun for everyone than ever before. Starting today, America’s Best Toy Shop kicks off with:

   - Expanded aisles and the best selection of toys, with thousands of new and exclusive items from top brands, creating Walmart’s broadest assortment of toys ever.

   - The best experience for parents and kids to test, play and shop for toys – through in-store events and demos, and a new specialty toy experience online featuring exclusive content from toy influencers for the first time.

   - Layaway…it’s back August 31.

"Walmart has always been a destination for toys. Parents shop us for our wide selection of top brands and because we bring fun to stores in ways that only Walmart can," said Anne Marie Kehoe, vice president of toys, Walmart U.S. "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.

BESTEST Assortment of Toys Ever 
Bigger. Better. Bestest assortment! To ensure Walmart has all of the toys kids want, the retailer has expanded America’s Best Toy Shop aisles in select stores across the country. This expanded assortment includes 30 percent new toys in stores and 40 percent more toys online.

Walmart searched high and low for the biggest trends and the right toys to expand its assortment. New toy brands now available at Walmart include Pomsies, Fancy Nancy, Boxy Girls, Grumblies and Hairdorables. This year, the retailer has added hundreds of new exclusive toys in stores and online. Just one of the hundreds of new exclusives includes Ryan’s World, a line of 11 toys from first-grade internet toy sensation Ryan of Ryan ToysReview, available exclusively at Walmart until Sept. 30. The excitement continues on with new online-only exclusives such as the DC Comics 6-Volt Justice League Batmobile and KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen with 30 Piece Play Food.

Bringing the WHHHHOOOAAA to Stores and Online 
America’s Best Toy Shop is putting the fun in toys, the Walmart way. Walmart will host more than 2,000 toy play dates over the next two months at Supercenters across the country so that kids can play with top toys as they start to build their holiday wish lists. Here’s a look at the fun happening in America’s Best Toy Shop now through November 1:

   -  America’s Best Toy Shop will host its first National Play Day on September 8 in more than 1,500 stores. Kids will leave seriousness and responsibility at the door and enjoy the opportunity to play with top toys, pose for pictures and take home toy booklets and other giveaways.

   -  In-store toy demos, including events highlighting toys from Ryan’s World, Barbie and Transformers will take place from August 30 to November 1.

   -  Toy roadshows for Nerf and Hot Wheels, will give kids the chance to play with the newest toys from these two classic brands with interactive activities at Supercenters from August 31 to November 1. will also open America’s Best Toy Shop online as a specialty shopping destination for customers to discover the perfect toy. As a part of the experience, this year, for the first time ever, customers can hear directly from 25 toy influencers including Clara Lukasiak, Gavin Raygoza, Kenzie Mitchell, and Gabe and Garrett, who will develop exclusive toy content throughout the year, giving customers the scoop on all things toys with advice, reviews and recommendations. The online shop will also include curated toy collections to help customers find inspiration and shop for toys with ease, whether that be by trending item, age, character or brand, among other ways to shop.

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