Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Toys “R” Us touts Black Friday discounts to shoppers


Take as long as you need to recover from that big Thanksgiving meal this year.

This Black Friday, Toys “R” Us is holding an additional hour of door-buster deals  as it tries to get a bigger bite of sales this holiday season.

The specialty toy retailer is discounting more than 150 items this year, compared to the 101 that it announced a year ago. Shoppers can snap up toys and games at those special prices from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 28, known in the retail industry as Black Friday, the traditional kick-off to the holiday shopping season. Last year, the door-buster deals were finished by noon.

Toys “R” Us is waging price wars against retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer, known for its low prices. Wal-Mart has already unleashed a round of price cuts on toys in October when it offered 10 popular toys for $10 each, and plans to cut prices every week until Christmas as it tries to win over cash-strapped consumers.

While a massive toy recall played on consumers’ minds last year, the state of the global economy has easily overtaken those concerns this holiday season. Consumers are expected to continue shopping carefully and  hunt for bargains, and Toys “R” Us is gearing up to meet those demands. The company is allowing consumers to peek at 50 unadvertised door-buster deals online beginning Nov. 26 at midnight. Last year it posted 40 mystery deals online. 

Black Friday ads popping up online


bf2.JPGIt’s that time of year again – supposed Black Friday ads are now starting to appear on online.

Numerous websites have cropped up in recent years that publish what they claim are copies of the newspaper ads retailers will run for Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving that marks the ultra-competitive launch of the holiday shopping season.

Kids — meet Elmo Live


elmo.jpgA singing and dancing Elmo Live said hello to the world on Monday at the Toys “R” Us store in Times Square.

Elmo Live is Fisher-Price’s latest version of the Sesame Street fixture, after Tickle Me Elmo in 1996 and TMX Elmo in 2006. Fisher-Price is a unit of top U.S. toymaker Mattel Inc.