The retailer is expanding its selection and exclusives both online and in stores, while also making more room in-store for toys.
As reported by Business Insider, the retailer has announced it will be expanding its assortment of toys before the holiday season kicks off, with “more toys than we’ve ever carried before,” according to Walmart’s VP of toys, Anne Marie Kehoe.
Many of the changes Walmart is making to its toy section, which it is calling its ‘America’s best toys shop’ initiative, are permanent, and will last even after the holiday season is over. The bold move into toys is likely a result of Walmart seeing an opportunity after the bankruptcy and liquidation of Toys R Us.
“We want to be there for shoppers who are looking for an alternative for Toys R Us,” Anne Marie said. “We want to be the best.”
Walmart will be expanding its selection by 40% online, with 30% of the toys it’s stocking in stores being brand new, and the retailer will also have 1,000 exclusive toys, 300 of which are brand new. Walmart will also make room for more toys in stores, adding more aisles to stock them in some locations.
In-store, Walmart is tripling the number of in-store events it is planning, including toy demonstrations and other events.
Layaway started earlier this year, on 31st August, and Walmart has changed how the programme works to ensure that if the price of the toy drops before the toy is picked up, the customer gets the cheapest price automatically.
The company did its research to find out the top toys for the holiday, bringing in hundreds of kids to play with dozens of toys so the store could see what resonated the most. Based on that, Walmart selected the top 40 toys it thinks every kid will covet this year, up from the selection of 25 toys in previous years.
This year, Walmart also enlisted the help of some toy influencers to help decide what to put on its list. These influencers will have their own lists of favourite toys, as well as content to help guide shoppers on not only popular toys, but toys for different interests and needs.