Target is positioning itself to take advantage of the demise of Toys R Us. The retailer plans to expand its toy assortment ahead of the holidays, including nearly doubling its offering of new and exclusive toys to more than 2,500, Mark Tritton, Target executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, said in a company blog post on Tuesday.
The mass merchant is also adding to its private label Heyday electronics assortment, a Target spokesperson told Retail Dive in an interview. Heyday now features headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and phone chargers and cases, aimed at young millennials and Gen Z. Other small electronics items like wireless mobile chargers and new phone case designs are set to be unveiled in October ahead of the holidays, according to the spokesperson.
Target is in a particularly good position to take up many of those sales, considering that many of its stores are quite near former Toys R Us locations.
Toymakers sure hope so. Mattel and Hasbro have looked to fill the hole left by Toys R Us and have said they're turning to general retailers to make up those sales. In fact, Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz told analysts in July that there's greater potential for sales to be absorbed by other retailers than the company first thought.
"The industry is evolving. But the toy market is growing and we should be able to reverse our own trends given our strong standing and the quality of our assets," he said, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. "We are working in collaboration with other major retailers who are taking market share and enhancing the shopping experience for consumers."
On Tuesday Target, which has been steadily remodeling stores and revamping many of its private labels, boosting sales and traffic in the process, said it would also make both its brick-and-mortar and online toys destinations more enticing. Online, the retailer is already showcasing trendy toys, and said it "will soon unveil a digital spin on its annual kids gifting catalog." The company also emphasized its in-store pickup, same-day Shipt delivery and "free, no-membership-required two-day shipping."
In a way it's a continuation of what was a vicious circle for Toys R Us, and a virtuous one for Target, Amazon and others. The toy seller was outgunned on price by rivals during the holiday season last year, as it had been for several years. On top of failing to get ahead of that, the specialty retailer made numerous operational bungles during the holidays. Toys R Us' failures last holiday season set its liquidation in motion while opening an even wider opening for other retailers to get into the toy game.