Amazon reportedly working on a Toys R Us-like holiday catalog
Amazon is planning a Toys R Us-like toy catalog for the holidays, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources. Amazon declined Retail Dive's request for comment.
The book will be mailed to customers in the U.S. and distributed through its Whole Foods grocery chain, according to the report.
The e-commerce giant reportedly considered buying up some Toys R Us stores in the wake of the toy giant's demise.
Amazon is hardly alone in seizing the opportunity provided by the downfall of America's foremost toy retailer.
In trying to fill the hole left in the toy market after the collapse of Toys R Us in bankruptcy, Amazon joins mass merchants and department stores, along with specialty retailers like Party City and smaller players, including the revived FAO Schwarz, the potentially revived KB Toys and independent toy stores.
Amazon is in a good position to expand deeper into the category, analysts say. Its toy sales last year were some $4 billion, about 20% of the market, according to Jeffries analyst Stephanie Wissink. More than half of those came during fewer than 60 selling days, and more than a third (35%) took place in December alone. The e-retailer in 2016 first brought toy sales to its voice assisted holiday shopping. Meanwhile, both Walmart and Target both have broad overlap geographically with shuttered Toys R Us stores and expect to capture much of those sales.
Amazon has already secured a good chunk of market share in the toy space, in part because it consistently beat Toys R Us in online pricing during Black Friday and the holiday season overall. But Prime members have long turned to Amazon for toy purchases. That could leave more room for Walmart and Target to gain more share, according to retail think tank Coresight Research. Toys R Us shoppers were "much more likely" than average toy shoppers to have also shopped at Walmart (10.7% more likely) and Target (13.2% more likely). Those retailers also produce paper mailings aimed at inspiring children's holiday wish lists.
In releasing a full toy catalog, Amazon would be taking part in an old-fashioned but still relevant retail ritual of the fourth courter paper mailing aimed at lighting up the imaginations of consumers.
Follow Daphne Howland on Twitter