Amazon may put out a holiday toy catalog, filling void left by Toys ‘R Us

SAN FRANCISCO — It seems like you might find a little extra in your Amazon box as the holidays near. The Seattle e-commerce giant may be putting out a toy catalog this holiday season, filling the void left by the demise of Toys ‘R Us.

Amazon has been talking to members of The Toy Association, the trade group for toy manufacturers, about the catalog. Amazon has “been working on it for awhile and they’re excited to be included,” said Steve Pasierb, CEO of the group. 

Amazon declined to comment its plans for a toy catalog, which was first reported by Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources. 

Paper catalogs have long been a part of the holiday tradition in the United States, going back to the Sears Roebuck catalog and later the JCPenny catalog. Both of those were superseded by the rise of the Toys ‘R Us catalog, which for years reined supreme as a wish book for kids in the lead up to Christmas and its presents. Walmart and Target also publish toy catalogs.

With the bankruptcy of Toys ‘R Us, its catalog — and market — is up for grabs. 

“Toys ‘R Us was about 14 percent of the U.S. toy market,” said Pasierb. “It’s not that consumers no longer support that category, it’s just a question of where they’re going to put their dollars.”

Not only does Amazon have the physical address of its customers, it also knows which of them have bought toys in the past.

In addition, Amazon has almost 480 Whole Foods stores, with their affluent customer base, as a second place to distribute the catalogs.

Amazon has become a major player in the toy world, though Walmart is currently the number one toy seller in America, according to The Toy Association.

Pasierb hasn’t seen a mockup and doesn’t exactly know Amazon will make the shift between a screen where a customer can simply click to buy and a static printed page. 

“Maybe they’ll have scannable QR codes. Or maybe not. Most customers who are loyal to Amazon have it on their phone or their computer. If you see (an item), you can easily find it,” he said.

More: Game over for Toys R Us! All stores now closed, but is this really the end?


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