Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Toys R Us’ early Christmas

July 14, 2010

xmas2(Written by our retailer reporter Dhanya Skariachan)

Check Out Toys R Us “Christmas in July”:

 For Toys R Us, Christmas comes early this year.

 With only 164 shopping days left for Christmas and the back-to-school season almost around the corner, the toy retailer is resurrecting its “Christmas in July” sale, featuring discounts as steep as 50 percent on board games like Monopoly and Scrabble and items like Coby MP3 player.

 The operator of Toys R Us, Babies R Us and FAO Schwarz stores held its “Christmas in July” sales event for the first time last year after many U.S. retailers posted 10 straight months of sales declines during the worst of the recession. Even Sears held wintry holiday-themed events last summer ahead of their back-to-school promotions.

 This year, the Toys R Us sales event runs from July 18 through July 24. It comes as it takes on industry goliaths like Wal-Mart Stores, and Target, also trying to woo the nation’s youth with the latest gadgets. 

“Nobody really knows what the holidays (are) going to bring,” Greg Ahearn, senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce, said in an interview. “People are always looking for a great value.” 

 The company is also hoping for a bite of the back-to-school sales pie by making offers like a free lunch kit with a backpack, Ahearn said. It will offer many items at prices usually reserved for the holiday shopping season and also hold a “Cyber Monday” sale on July 26 featuring more exclusive deals.

 Cyber Monday typically comes on the heels of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the traditional start to the holiday shopping season in stores. It is known for deep discounts, promoted via email, social networks and online.

It has already launched “Christmas Savers Club,” a program to help parents save money ahead of the holidays, and expanded its in-store layaway program that lets shoppers pay for gifts over an extended period of time.  

Also in the basket:
- JC Penney digs into digital for back-to-school
- Zumiez drops bid for West 49

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