TECHNOLOGY

Amazon gets nostalgic with first-ever printed holiday catalog

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is combining old-fashioned marketing with high-tech flair to sell more toys this holiday season.

The online giant is mailing a printed catalog, called “A Holiday of Play,” featuring more than 1,400 toys and games for babies, children, tweens and teens, to a reported millions of homes this holiday season. The lookbook, Amazon’s first printed catalog, is organized by category and age. It is also available digitally, and can be viewed here.

Unlike the toy catalogs of holidays past, the Amazon book does not list prices with the individual items. Instead, customers use the retailer’s mobile app to scan the product images for price and other information, and to add it to their online shopping cart.

In addition, the pages are sprinkled with Amazon’s SmileCodes (Amazon’s version of QR codes) that, when scanned, takes the shopper to a page with related gift ideas.

Amazon’s toy catalog will be available at Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star stores, which will feature select featured items. Amazon’s catalog is also available for download for its Kindle devices

Meanwhile, Sears Holdings Corp. is also offering its holiday Wish Book catalog in a digital format this year. The struggling department store retailer will not publish a printed version of its iconic catalog this holiday season, one year after bringing it back into circulation for some members of its loyalty program, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Amazon’s toy catalog is the company’s latest move to win shoppers this holiday season. On Monday, the online giant announced that for the first time, it is offering free shipping on all holiday orders with no minimum order required. (There is typically a $25 minimum for non-Prime members.) The free delivery service will be available until it can no longer promise items will arrive in time for Christmas with free delivery. Items shipped with free delivery typically arrive between five to eight business days.

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