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Toys ‘R’ Us’ Demise Means Toys Will Probably Cost Less This Holiday Season

After 70 years of supplying children with everything from bicycles to Barbie dolls, Toys ‘R’ Us announced in March that it was shuttering its remaining 800 US stores. While many of us were saddened with the news for the sake of nostalgia alone, there was also the question of how it would impact the toy market as a whole. Well, according to a new report the chain’s closing might have a positive impact on your wallet.

According to a new report from BuzzFeed, big box stores such as Target and Walmart as well as online retailers like Amazon are fighting for Toys ‘R’ Us’s market share. The result? They will likely be slashing prices on their toys, which could make your holiday shopping a whole lot less expensive.

“The nature of competition is that there are going to be price opportunities,” Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the toy trade group the Toy Association, told BuzzFeed News. “The toy mass marketers who are doing a good job are going to be having a good holiday.”

According to the report, Target is in the middle of remodeling over 300 stores by the end of 2018. Over 100 of them will have an updated toy department. Additionally, over 500 of their stores will have a totally expanded space for toys over the holidays. They will also begin stocking larger toys, such as battery-powered rideable cars and dollhouses, year-round.

target store
Credit: iStock / RiverNorthPhotography

“There are going to be billions of dollars of retail market share up for grabs, and we’re going to position ourselves to take more than our fair share of that,” Target CEO Brian Cornell told investors Wednesday. “As companies like Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us exit the market, as others close stores, we’re picking up market share in those important categories, in those key geographic catchments, and we’ll expect to continue to do that in 2019 and beyond.”

While Toys ‘R’ Us was struggling during its final years, according to the NPD Group, overall the toy business has been booming. US sales are up seven percent from this time last year. Before shuttering their stores, Toys ‘R’ Us held 13.6 percent of the market, trailing behind Walmart with 29.4 and Amazon with 16.3. According to Credit Suisse, Target is aimed to capture a significant percent of sales from the closing of both Toys and Babies ‘R’ Us.

Aside from Target, other toy vendors are coming up with their own, unique strategies for the holiday season as well. According to Bloomberg, Whole Foods, owned by Amazon is considering distributing a holiday gift guide similar to the Toys ‘R’ Us catalog, while regional stores, such as Geppetto’s Toys, are opening store kiosks at local malls.

So wherever you do most of your holiday shopping — whether it be brick and mortar stores or online giants — expect to see more competitive prices.

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