On Tuesday, Target announced plans to roll out a new toy experience in stores and online, in time for the holiday shopping season. Changes include devoting more aisles to selling toys in stores, hosting play days in stores and making the new dedicated space “absolutely permanent” lasting beyond the gifting season. CNBC reports Target will give a fuller remodel to 100 stores, which will allow those locations to showcase larger items, including electric ride-on vehicles, playhouses and outdoor play sets. Within those aisles, Target will feature more than 2,500 “new and exclusive” toys for sale — nearly double what it offered in 2017. The in-store play dates will allow kids to test out the latest toys and meet fictional characters.
Total Retail’s Take: Target, like Amazon.com and Walmart, is trying to capitalize on the fact that this is the first holiday season since Toys"R"Us went out of business. There's a void in the toy marketplace, and many retailers are altering their businesses in an attempt to fill it. For Target, those alterations are occurring in-store and online. In addition to the “hours of joy” experiential model and new dedicated space for toys in its brick-and-mortar locations, Target will also be improving its online search capabilities (with gift-giving in mind). Furthermore, Target will release 22 million gifting catalogs in homes and stores, featuring 15 percent more toy pages compared with last year. And to complete the omnichannel experience, consumers will be able to find more information about products (e.g., toys) and exclusive deals by scanning an item using the Target mobile app.