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Target’s Plan to Win Holiday Wallets? Toys

Target is trying to make a name as the top toy destination for holiday shoppers and beyond.

A new multi-year agreement with FAO Schwarz (FAO) expands the ties it’s recently built with the nostalgic toy brand that’s brought exclusive products to Target. Consumers will be able to purchase FAO toys at Target and FAO Schwarz stores as well as Target’s website beginning in mid-October.

With FAO and Disney deals under its belt, Target is going head to head with not just Walmart, Kohl’s and Amazon but Macy’s and its Toys “R” Us partnership, too.

Toys are big business for retail, especially when people have cut back on spending to manage inflation and stores are pinning their hopes on a happy holiday.

“Toys offer pretty decent margins,” Macy’s Inc. CEO Jeff Gennette told investors earlier this year. The retailer reported first-quarter toy sales 15 times higher than the comparable period prior to the Toys “R” Us partnership. It’s opening several Toys “R” Us shop-in-shops by Oct. 15. Eleven new in-store shops are slated for this holiday, with Macys’ hoping to “quintuple” the chain’s toy business—numbering 446 as of April 30—and attract more millennial and Gen Z shoppers.

Walmart, Kohl’s and Amazon also ramp up their holiday toy assortments to get shoppers to open their wallets.

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Target expects these toys to be tops this holiday.

“One of the reasons families love shopping at Target is because of our incredible assortment of toys, and that selection is only getting better with our new exclusive agreement with the beloved FAO Schwarz brand,” Jill Sando, Target’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, said. “From hot new items to time-tested favorites, we’ve curated our annual list of Bullseye’s Top Toys to create an easy, fun and affordable way for guests to find just the right gift for every toy lover on their list. Simply put, there’s only one place parents and gift givers need to shop for toys this holiday season—and that’s Target.”

The 120-item FAO Schwarz assortment is priced at $9.99-$149.99, with 50 toys under $20. The capsule will feature several nostalgic FAO toys under $25 to mark the brand’s 160th anniversary. Store and digital shoppers can check out toy demonstrations during the holidays at limited locations.

“FAO Schwarz has been celebrating the wonder of childhood and bringing awe and discovery to all children—and the child inside all of us—for 160 years, and now families everywhere across the U.S. can enjoy this experience at their local Target store,” FAO chief merchandising officer David Niggli said.