Toys will still be sold online, but instore meterage will be reassigned.
Toy World understands that Boots intends to considerably reduce its instore offering of toys and games. The retailer has determined that space in store could be more profitably utilised for other categories, such as nursery and gifts, and expects to maintain only a few modules of toys, although a range will still be offered online.
It is expected that the number of toy lines will be reduced, in part at the expense of an increase in nursery goods, following the recently signed deal to sell Mothercare lines both instore and online. As reported in December, Boots will stock Mothercare-branded goods from this year, including clothing – expected to include Mothercare own labels such as Jools Oliver’s Little Bird and Myleene Klass’s My K – as well as home furnishings and travel items such as pushchairs and car seats. Boots has also hinted at plans to host Mothercare shop-in-shops under an initial five-year deal.
The expansion of these categories, which have been deemed more profitable and in demand by the retailer, will naturally necessitate extended shelf space in stores, to allow Boots to take full advantage of the opportunity. Other categories, including toys, will have a reduced presence going forwards.
The move will come as a blow to toy suppliers, who are seeing an increasingly shrinking marketplace in bricks and mortar outlets, following the recent decisions by Beales to sell 50% of its store portfolio, and by Debenhams to close its toy department, not to mention the ever-growing number of independent toy retailers being forced to close their premises due to unfeasible rents, business rates and stiff competition.