Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Tussle over toys as holiday season nears

September 24, 2010

sears1Check out the latest news on the fight for a piece of toy market.

U.S. retailer Sears plans to launch 85 toy shops in select markets next month as it angles for a bigger bite of the holiday sales pie, a senior executive told Reuters. Specialty retailer Toys R Us previously announced plans to open about 600 temporary stores and 10 FAO Schwarz “pop-up” stores this year. 

The move from the operator of Sears department stores and the Kmart discount chain comes as competition heats up in the toy market ahead of the crucial selling season.

“We have a very aggressive plan for growing our toy business,” Julia Fitzgerald, chief marketing officer for Sears’ toy business said in an interview ahead of an event marking the launch of Kmart’s top toy picks for the holidays.

The decision came after many customers showed interest to shop for toys in convenient locations such as malls, during a pilot program in 20 department stores last year. 

The initiative brings Sears back to a business with which it has a rocky history. Earlier this decade, Sears experimented with “store-within-a-store” partnerships with KB Toys, but ultimately pulled the plug.

Also in the basket:

Nike profit, orders race ahead of expectations

Zale interim CEO gets top job; Breeden quits board

Free beer on tap as Bud seeks image boost

Target cautious heading into Christmas holidays-CEO

Tesco must lift returns, or face calls to retrench

(Reuters photo)

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