Oct 9, 2018

Carving up the Toys "R" Us bonanza

Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty

Investors are talking about reviving the bankrupt Toys "R" Us, but its multibillion-dollar business is meanwhile being picked over by the big three — Amazon, Walmart and Target.

What's going on: Target and Walmart are adding floor space to accommodate more toys this holiday season, reports WSJ. And they are in a pitched toys battle with Amazon online, according to a new report from Gartner L2.


By the numbers: Toys "R" Us took 15% of the $27 billion U.S. toy market last year, selling $1.4 billion worth in just December 2017.

  • The battle to capture those sales is visible in online search terms — how buyers get to the site where they purchase stuff for their kids.
  • In 2017, Toys "R" Us owned the search results for 70% of toy-related keywords, such as "nerf guns" and "doll house." Babies "R" Us owned 81% of keywords in its arena, like "booster seat" and "diapers."

But this year, Amazon topped search results for 95% of toy terms and 88% of baby terms, per Gartner L2.

  • That is a huge triumph for Amazon, which set its sights on toys right after books and movies. Amazon's toy sales jumped 12% to $2.16 billion in 2017.
  • Target and Walmart products float to the top for 60-80% of search terms.

Go deeper

Supreme Court to hear Philadelphia case over same-sex foster parents

Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a high-profile case that could reshape the bounds of First Amendment protections for religion.

Why it matters: The direct question in this case is whether Philadelphia had the right to cancel a contract with an adoption agency that refused to place foster children with same-sex couples. It also poses bigger questions that could lead the court to overturn a key precedent and carve out new protections for religious organizations.

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.