Corrected: Walmart adds toys and shelf space for holidays, expands online offerings
Walmart Stores Inc
The world`s largest retailer will also begin its layaway programme on Friday, one day earlier than last year, allowing customers to pay off purchases in instalments.
The company expects demand for its layaway programme to be similar to that of previous years, said Anne Marie Kehoe, vice president of toys, while at an event in New York to reveal the retailer`s top toys for the holidays. Layaway plans can have a sizeable impact on sales and past analyst estimates suggest the programme accounted for as much as 15 percent of holiday revenue at Walmart stores in poorer areas of the United States.
Walmart added 30 percent more new toys to its stores and expanded its online selection by 40 percent, including some toys that are exclusive to the retailer, such as the DC Comics Justice League Batmobile.
Kehoe said Walmart will monitor its inventory closely as it approaches the holiday season, as insufficient online inventory of certain everyday items hurt sales last year.
The retailer also plans more than 2,000 in-store demos of toys, "a lot more" than last year, to let kids play with the items before parents decide to buy, Kehoe said.
Walmart`s efforts may help its toys better compete in the holiday season against video games or streaming platforms like YouTube. It also hopes to fend off online retailer Amazon.com Inc
Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Kehoe said Walmart is focussed on serving its customers, and "we`ve always had a toy catalogue and will continue to have one."
Walmart for the first time has partnered with kid "influencers," or children who review toys on social media, to help narrow the list of the top toys for the holidays.
Toy sales in the United States were up 7 percent in the first half of 2018 from a year earlier, according to the NPD Group.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
Get Latest Business News, Stock Market Updates and Videos; Check your tax outgo through Income Tax Calculator and save money through our Personal Finance coverage. Check Business Breaking News Live on Zee Business Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe on YouTube.