September 15, 2009

Toy retailers set up for holiday sprint

Industry market analysts said large U.S. toy retailers are gearing up aggressively for the upcoming holiday shopping season, as the recession continues.

Toys R Us is expected to open 80 temporary stores for the holiday season, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

In addition, while expanding 200 established stores with a new line called R Markets, Toys R Us will open 260 smaller stores inside Babies R Us outlets this year.

We're energized, Toys R Us Chief Executive Officer Jerry Storch said.

Industry analyst Anita Frazier at NPD Group said, I think every lever that can be pulled will be pulled.

Sean McGowan, a market analyst with Needham & Co. said Toys R Us seem to be steamrolling.

Meanwhile, discount retail giant Wal-Mart recently opened family night center, featuring $10 to $18 DVDs and $8 board games, the Post said.

We will definitely be ready ... with incredible values across toys from core basics to hot new items, said Laura Phillips, Wal-Mart's chief toy officer and senior vice president of entertainment.

Sears added toy departments to 20 of its stores in August. It's part of a bigger effort. Really, this is our first step, Sears spokesman Tom Aiello said.