Walmart is expanding its inventory of kids playthings by 30% in store and 40% online under new America’s Best Toy Shop branding. Available at bricks-and-mortar stores and on Walmart.com, these shop-in-shops will be home to thousands of new and exclusive products, in-store events and demos.
New brands now available through the retailer include Pomsies (pictured), Fancy Nancy, Boxy Girls, Grumblies and Hairdorables. Walmart has also inked a number of exclusive deals, including an agreement to be the only purveyor of Ryan’s World merchandise (based on YouTube star Ryan ToysReview) until September 30.
America’s Best Toy Shop will also host more than 2,000 play dates at Supercenters across the US, letting kids come in and play with toys, pose for pictures and take home giveaways.
Additionally, Walmart.com will feature exclusive content from toy influencers Clara Lukasiak, Gavin Raygoza, Kenzie Mitchell and Gabe & Garrett. And online shoppers can search the America’s Best Toy Shop portal by item, age, character or brand.
SKUs featured in the shop were selected after hundreds of kids tested and played with dozens of toys, resulting in Walmart’s Top Rated by Kids list. It includes 40 products (up from 25 in recent years), including items from Barbie, Hot Wheels, LEGO, NERF, Harry Potter, PAW Patrol, Peppa Pig, L.O.L. Surprise! and Fingerlings.
The retail giant is also opening a layaway service allowing customers to pay off thousands of items throughout the holiday season.
The launch follows news that JCPenney will open 500 new baby shops right near the locations of several recently shuttered Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores to capitalize on the retailer’s recent bankruptcy filing in the US. Several retailers have been looking to bank on the Toys “R” Us closures, including Ireland’s Smyth Toys Superstores, which acquired TRU’s operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.