When Toys ‘R’ Us announced in March that it was closing all 800 of its US stores, other retailers saw an opportunity in its demise. Now, big-box stores like Target and Walmart and local specialty stores are circling Toys ‘R’ Us’s carcass to tear off their own piece of the $7.1 billion in US toy sales the liquidated retailer made in 2016, when it last reported full-year earnings.
While Walmart, Target, and Amazon have never inspired the same devotion as Toys ‘R’ Us did for generations of kids who grew up reading its catalogues and buying its toys, there’s a small upside to Toys ‘R’ Us’s closing: Retailers competing for the chain’s customers are going to slash toy prices.
“The nature of competition is that there are going to be price opportunities,” Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the toy trade group the Toy Association, told BuzzFeed News. “The toy mass marketers who are doing a good job are going to be having a good holiday.”
Target plans to remodel more than 300 stores by the end of this year, and more than 100 of those stores will have an updated toy department, Joshua Thomas, a Target spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News. More than 500 of the company’s roughly 1,800 stores will also have expanded space for toys this holiday season, including wider aisles, he said.
“The retail environment looks different this year, and that will present an opportunity for us to get our guests to shop us more or to get those shoppers who previously shopped at other locations, particularly during the holidays for toys, to come to Target,” said Thomas.
Along with expanding…