Walmart and Target seize on the first Black Friday without Toys 'R' Us

Target, Walmart, Amazon, and a spate of big retailers are pouncing on the first holiday shopping season in decades without Toys & 'R' Us.

Posted: Nov 21, 2018 8:32 AM

Target, Walmart, Amazon, and a spate of big retailers are pouncing on the first holiday shopping season in decades without Toys 'R' Us.

Toys 'R' Us closed its doors after 70 years in business earlier this year, leaving behind hundreds of stores and $10.5 billion in annual sales.

In Toys 'R' Us' absence, retailers eye an opportunity to capture market share and pump up toy sales. Their efforts will reach a fever pitch on Black Friday and into the holiday stretch.

"While toys [are] important all year long, it rises to a whole new level in the holidays," Mark Tritton, Target's chief merchandising officer, said on Tuesday.

Target (TGT) has added close to a quarter-million square feet of space dedicated to toys across 500 stores, remodeled toy aisles at 100 stores, and added new displays throughout the stores to raise awareness.

The company's toy sales increased 20% last quarter from the same time a year ago. Target anticipates more growth during the holiday stretch, when it typically makes half of its annual toy sales.

Walmart (WMT) has grown its new toy selection in all stores by 30% and 40% online. It recently rolled out a virtual "toy lab" playground that allows kids to play with 20 of the company's top toys.

"There's a lot of toy volume up for grabs this year, so we've bought broader and deeper in this category," Walmart's chief merchandising officer said last month.

Party City (PRTY) is opening 50 "Toy City" pop-up stores. Kohl's (KSS) has partnered with Lego and FAO Schwarz to sell products at stores. For its part, FAO Schwarz is coming back with a new 20,000-square-foot flagship in New York.

"Both of those brands are already off to a great start," Kohl's said on Wednesday.

Unlikelier names, including Dollar General (DG) and Foot Locker (FL), are making moves, too. Foot Locker is teaming up with Funko to sell LeBron James and other basketball stars' figurines. Bloomberg first reported the partnership on Monday.

So is Best Buy (BBY). Best Buy has expanded toy inventory at its 1,000 US stores. The company is betting that shoppers coming in to buy a new TV during the holidays might want to leave with Barbies or Legos, too.

Kroger (KR) is adding Geoffrey's Toy Box sections to sections to 600 stores this holiday. Sections will be stocked with 35 toys.

"We've got an arms race in the toy category," Moody's retail analyst Charlie O'Shea said last month.

Amazon is also trying to fill the void. It mailed out a toy catalog and is offering free shipping on toys with no minimum purchase, including to customers without Prime.

"We see Amazon as the biggest share taker post-Toys 'R' Us," Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink said in a research note earlier this month.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32078

Reported Deaths: 2004
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9268539
Lake3320168
Cass15826
Allen130966
St. Joseph120534
Hendricks113067
Hamilton111592
Johnson1086104
Elkhart105728
Madison58258
Porter49021
Bartholomew48133
Clark46138
LaPorte41522
Tippecanoe3753
Jackson3671
Howard36519
Delaware35735
Hancock32127
Shelby31521
Floyd31438
Boone28835
Morgan26224
Vanderburgh2482
Montgomery23117
White2268
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19121
Noble18921
Harrison18721
Dubois1852
Greene16724
Warrick16426
Dearborn16421
Henry1619
Monroe16011
Vigo1477
Lawrence14423
Miami1391
Putnam1337
Jennings1274
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Kosciusko941
Carroll922
Daviess8216
Steuben802
Marshall761
Newton7410
Wabash722
Wayne715
Fayette684
LaGrange602
Jasper581
Washington521
Fulton471
Rush452
Jay440
Randolph433
Jefferson411
Whitley402
Pulaski390
Clay391
Owen341
Brown331
Sullivan321
Starke313
DeKalb311
Perry260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton251
Benton250
Wells240
Crawford230
Blackford211
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Spencer171
Posey170
Parke170
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion90
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0154
West Lafayette
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Kokomo
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 68°
Fowler
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 68°
Williamsport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 65°
Frankfort
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 69°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 67°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 67°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Some more storms ahead....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events