Nov 21, 2018
Many of us can still remember the thrill of running through aisles and aisles of endless toys or flipping through catalogs full of wonders in preparation for childhood’s most arduous task: the creation of the Christmas Wish List. With Toys “R” Us closing its doors earlier this year and the shuttering of small, independent toy stores around the country it’s natural to ask what the future of toy shopping will look like in the U.S. in coming years?
One stop shop: tomatoes, toilet paper, and…toys?
Retailers of all sizes and specialties are preparing to seize the opportunity to get a piece of the toy pie this holiday season. Big box retailers, along with grocery stores, mom and pop shops, and dollar stores, are dedicating an increasing percentage of their in-store shelf space to toys.
Target recently announced they will dedicate nearly a quarter-million square feet of new permanent space across 500 stores to toys. Both Target and Walmart are hosting ‘Play Days’, experiential in-store events which allow children to test out the latest toys. Party City, too, is opening 50 “Toy City” pop up stores this holiday season, similar to its well-known Halloween pop-ups.
While retailers plan to capitalize on the demise of Toys “R” Us this year by investing in these offline shopping experiences, analysis shows that in the United States toy commerce is rapidly moving away from in-store sales. Statista projects that by 2022, nearly 70% of revenue share in the U.S. for this category will be attributed to online sales.
Statista Toys, Hobby & DIY United States Report>
Bridging the gap from offline to online
Amazon, which already claims 16.3% share of the overall toy market, is in a favorable position to leverage online growth in the segment. Yet even the ecommerce giant has invested in offline efforts this holiday season. Amazon’s first ever print catalog for toys, which will be distributed to millions of customers this month, marries the tradition of the holiday toy “wish book” to the power and ease of the online customer experience. The 70 page catalog — while providing an old-fashioned, hands-on browsing experience — also features QR codes, enabling shoppers to instantly scan and buy that perfect gift.
The United States generates the highest global revenue in the Toys, Hobby & DIY segment. With a market value of $152 billion, changes in American shopping preferences and behaviors have the ability to make or break toy segments for both brands and retailers. Since consumer toy shopping over the next five years is projected to move almost exclusively online, companies in the industry must have targeted strategies and cohesive omnichannel distribution plans to move online as well..
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