Walmart: America’s best toy shop?

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Walmart: America’s best toy shop?

By Louisa Hallett - 08/31/2018
Walmart launches major toy offensive ahead of holidays.

Walmart hopes to become ‘America’s Best Toy Shop’ as the retail giant looks to compete with Target in filling the Toys R Us void.

The company announced that its toy aisles are set to offer the “best toys at the best prices” by bringing in the “bestest assortment of toys ever.” According to the company, the retailer has expanded its “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 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 for 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.”

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. Other exclusive toys on include the DC Comics 6-Volt Justice League Batmobile and KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen with 30 Piece Play Food.

This announcement comes shortly after one of the company’s largest competitor’s, Target, announced its plans to fill the Toys R Us void. All remaining Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores shut down earlier this summer after the New Jersey-based retailer declared bankruptcy, creating an opportunity for other retailers in the kids-merchandise space. Target was a clear beneficiary: Sales of baby clothing and shoes rose nearly 20 percent in the most recent quarter. Hardlines — a category that includes toys — saw high-single-digit comparable growth.

However, Walmart is taking it one step further by bringing in toy influencers, whose job is to assist consumers in creating exclusive toy content throughout the year, giving customers the scoop on all things toys with advice, reviews and recommendations. To ensure customers get the toys they want now through Christmas, the company is providing a layaway service that will open on Aug. 31, offering customers the opportunity to pay off items throughout the season.