On Thursday, Walmart said it will expand the assortment of toys it has at all its brick and mortar locations by 30% during the 2018 holiday shopping season. The retailer will offer 40% more toys on its e-commerce site Walmart.com.
At certain locations, the space inside the store dedicated to toys will also be larger, said officials at the chain during a briefing with New York media. Walmart, for those locations, will shift allotted space for seasonal goods, such as merchandise for back to school, to space for toys.
The goal of Walmart is to show its customers the best place for toy shopping is Walmart, said the vice president of the Walmart U.S. toy business Anne Marie Kehoe.
This aggressive push takes place after Toys R Us shuttered hundreds of stores earlier in the year, leaving a window of opportunity for retailers to move in and take additional market share. Last year, sales of toys increased 1% to over $20.7 billion as compared to 2016.
Sales during the first six months of 2018 were up 7% to more than $7.9 billion.
Many businesses, including Walmart, already have laid out their strategies to increase toys sales, and that includes companies that are not known typically for selling toys. Party City will open 50 Toy City locations even though it is not a retailer that traditionally sells toys.
J.C. Penney, Kohl’s and Five Below are only a few of the other businesses that already have said they are planning to have more toys for sale during the holiday season of 2018.
One industry analyst said that the taker of the largest share of toy sales since Toys R Us closed is Amazon. The giant in e-commerce owned a market share in 2017 for U.S. toy sales of the upper teens percentage.
Amazon has jumped in already with the release of its top toy list, which came out 10 days earlier than last year. The e-commerce giant is expected to also start handing its holiday toy catalogs out soon, at its Whole Foods stores and send them to members of Prime.
Toys R Us accounted for between 15% and 20% of the entire toy sales in the U.S. in 2017.
Target said it would push more toys this season as well. It had been predicted by some analysts that Target would be the big winner following the demise of Toy R Us, considering many Toys R Us locations were near Target locations.