Target fires back in holiday toy competition

Target this week entered the seasonal fray dominated so far by Walmart and Toys "R" Us attempting to outdo one another with announcements about their layaway offers, product reservation programs and top toy lists.

Target released its top 20 toy list and introduced a new technological wrinkle to the toy category that provides shoppers with added convenience and potential frustration if the technology doesn’t work properly. Beginning October 14, Target will showcase its top 20 toys on the main aisle in-store to increase the product visibility in a time-tested merchandising strategy. In addition, for added convenience, each of the top toys will have a QR code that can be scanned to purchase the toy directly using a mobile device and ship it for free to anyone, anywhere in the U.S. The QR initiative sounds intriguing, but it also introduces new complexity during a time of year when that’s the last thing any retailer needs so Target had better hope the technology functions perfectly.

In addition to the QR initiative, Target has introduced a new tool to create and share wish lists. Shoppers can browse the toy catalog or visited a new dedicated top toys Web page to organize their choices into a digital wish list that is instantly shareable with anyone via email.

Not one to give up on tried and true strategies, Target also plans to distribute an old-fashioned toy catalog in early November that features more than 200 toys and a variety of coupons.

"Target is the ultimate destination for toy shopping this holiday season. Not only do we have the hottest toys, we are helping guests shop the way they want – in stores, online and directly from their mobile devices," said Stephanie Lucy, Target’s vp of toys. "Our in-store QR codes for this year’s top toys will add real convenience for busy moms. Now, rather than hoping the kids won’t notice when a gift is slipped into the cart, guests can scan the QR codes to buy top toys and have them shipped anywhere for free."


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