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.

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