Lost Toys R Us shoppers are going to American Girl, Kmart
Among brands attracting former Toys R Us customers, doll company American Girl (1.8%) and educational toy company Lakeshore (1.51%) took the highest shares of new foot traffic from Toys R Us in the third quarter, according to analysis from brand insights firm InMarket. Others who grabbed new foot traffic include Learning Express (1.16%), Kmart (0.99%), Lego (0.9%), Hobbytown (0.85%), Papyrus (0.67%), Build-A-Bear Workshop (0.57%), Disney stores (0.56%) and Hobby Lobby (0.46%), according to InMarket's study, which was emailed to Retail Dive.
Major retail chains — which already overlapped with Toys R Us' shopper base — are also benefiting from the toy giant's bankruptcy, according to the report. In the third quarter this year, GameStop saw the most foot traffic (10.66%) as a percentage of its total from former Toys R Us customers, although they weren't new visitors. Walmart (9.43%) and Target (8.7%) also had high crossover from Toys R Us shoppers in their existing traffic. The percentage of shoppers who had gone to a Toys R Us just once and also shopped at those chains is even higher, InMarket said.
As retailers vie over store traffic, they are neglecting a potential online marketing opportunity. Kantar Media found that there has been zero paid search marketing sponsorship of the term "Toys R Us" since the first week of this March, when the toy retailer dropped it ahead of its liquidation in bankruptcy, according to a study emailed to Retail Dive.
Much has been made of the fact that several retailers — from major chains like Target, Walmart and Amazon, to local independents — have moved assertively to capture the share in toy sales left by Toys R Us' departure from the scene this year.
Those retailers have added to their toy merchandise, swept away good portions of their stores for play areas and demonstrations and, in some cases, published compelling catalogs. One thing they're not doing, but perhaps should be, is taking advantage of search.
The last retailer to advertise on that keyword (besides Toys R Us itself) was Amazon in November last year, a point when Toys R Us' website grabbed nearly all (98.8%) of the U.S. Google clicks for the keyword, according to Kantar Media. Now Toys R Us is gone, yet "the competition for sponsoring this keyword has disappeared," according to that report.
Major chains like GameStop, and Target or Walmart may realize that their existing customers will simply take advantage of their assortments in Toys R Us' absence and therefore don't see a need to grab the search term for themselves. But Kantar Media believes that retailers "hoping to move into the void left by the toy retailer's bankruptcy are missing out on a big search opportunity to capture this traffic before interest wanes."
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