When Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, closing down all 800 US locations and saying goodbye to the beloved Geoffrey the Giraffe, it left a gaping hole in the retail toy industry. And while the toy juggernaut may still be poised for a possible return, according to some reports, its absence hasn’t stopped other retailers from stepping up to fill the void. Case in point: Target just announced a huge redesign of its toy section in an effort to become the one-stop shop for all toy needs this holiday.
To start, Target will dedicate a quarter of a million square feet of permanent, not seasonal, space to the toy sections in 500 of their 2,000 stores. An additional 100 Target toy departments will get a complete makeover, including a fresh layout, different signage, and massive new displays. These stores will also get an interactive wall for kids to test out the latest toys in the store. Target will also host what it’s calling 25,000 “hours of joy” events across stores this year.
Once the new toy sections are in place, Target plans to double the number of toys — both exclusive and nonexclusive — on the shelves compared to last year. And with the bigger inventory will come more online buying options, including a new digital gift catalog that allows parents to add toys to their online cart by scanning them in the store. The 500-store expansion is scheduled to be finished by November 2 while the smaller 100-store redesign should be complete by December.