Toys R Us moves from Target to Amazon for click-to-buy links

Published on: 20th August 2020

The specialist toy retailer partnered with Target on eCommerce 10 months ago, but it appears to have now moved on. 

Toys R Us has apparently partnered with Amazon on eCommerce, in a move that will see the online marketplace become the new redirect page for shoppers seeking Toys R Us goods.

The new owner of the toy retailer, Tru Kids, had previously partnered with Target on this 10 months ago, but that deal seems to have ended. At present, it’s unclear why. At the time, Tru Kids CEO Richard Barry – the former global chief merchandising officer at Toys R Us – said Target was chosen to power the website because of its impressive toy business, strong supply chain and clear understanding of the toy category. “We spoke to a lot of different folks as we went through this process,” he commented. “What inspired me about Target was their investment in the [toy] category. We have completely re-imagined the website to a site which is immersive and heavily content oriented. One of the things we have been working on with the initial launch is to make the site very relevant for consumers this holiday season, with a big focus on the products we think will be magic this year.”

It’s expected that the move from Target to Amazon will be very much a temporary one. As a brand, Toys R Us is doing itself no favours by redirecting traffic to another site, but, more importantly, a previous failed eCommerce partnership between the two companies – which ended in a lawsuit in 2005 and a settlement to Toys R Us to the tune of $51m – became a major factor in the 2017 bankruptcy and 2018 liquidation of the retailer.

As it stands, Toys R Us will receive a commission from Amazon if visitors to its site click through and make a purchase the online marketplace. Long term, Toys R Us will surely be looking to sort out the digital side of its business, if its rebirth is to be a success.

James Zahn, AKA The Rockfather, who first reported the partnership between Amazon and Target, said in an interview this week: “By using the Amazon Associates’ links, Toys R Us – in a digital sense – isn’t functioning as a retailer, but rather as a publisher. If the company is able to scale itself again following the pandemic, they will need a distribution and fulfilment infrastructure, a role that Target was said to be performing.”


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