Transformers...coming to a Sears near you?
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 11:28PM CDTCategories: Toy News, Press Releases, Company News
Posted by: Mkall Views: 17,958
http://www.reuters.com/article/companyN ... WZ20090811
WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - Sears stuck its toe back into the toy business on Tuesday, with 20 stores clearing space for kids to interact with the latest best-sellers and nostalgic throwbacks like tin tops.
The retailer hopes the toy departments will fill a void left by the demise of mall specialty stores such as KB Toys.
"That's what we're hearing more and more from our core consumer, that they would like to buy (toys) in the mall," said Julia Fitzgerald, chief marketing officer for Sears' toy business.
Sears, a unit of Sears Holding Corp (SHLD.O), plans to dedicate about 1,500 square feet of floor space in each of the 20 stores and offer roughly 600 different items.
The venture returns Sears to a segment with which it has a rocky history. Earlier this decade, Sears experimented with "store-within-a-store" partnerships with KB Toys, but ultimately pulled the plug.
Since KB Toys went out of business earlier this year, closing its 460 stand-alone stores, a niche has opened for Sears, Fitzgerald said.
Sears operates 929 department stores.
Popular toy destinations now include stand-alone stores like Toys "R" Us, as well as discounters Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N).
Fitzgerald said Sears will carry toys made by Hasbro Inc (HAS.N) and Mattel Inc (MAT.N) as well as Leapfrog Enterprises Inc (LF.N), which makes educational toys, and Schylling, a maker of retro products such as tin jack-in-the-boxes.
Sears Holdings, formed in 2005 when hedge fund manager Edward Lampert merged Sears and Kmart, has struggled to sell its mainstay Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances amid a housing market crash.
The other focus of its retail operations, its apparel business, has been squeezed by discounters such as Wal-Mart and Target and a slumping economy. As a result, analysts have said Sears has a glut of floor space in most locations.
Sears has been experimenting with different pathways to growth, such as offering lay-away plans and letting customers buy online and return or pick up in stores.
The company's shares, which have doubled since the stock market bottomed in early March, were down 2.1 percent at $75.32 in afternoon Nasdaq trading.
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I remember buying original Battlestar Galactica merchandise in the late 70's from Sears.. Around 84 I remember picking up Gi Joes, Transformers, Atari 2600 and Cloecovision games from Sears.
Glad to see that some of them will carry toys again full time (the ones down here only stock "selected" toys at Christmas time.
Posted by Robinson on August 13th, 2009 @ 7:21am CDT
Its gonna end up being old stuff, never stocked properly. Cant ask anyone to check stock because they dont care enough.
Posted by Trailbreaker77 on August 13th, 2009 @ 7:32am CDT
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Posted by dragons on August 13th, 2009 @ 9:34am CDT
funny thing i was at walmart i was looking at transfomrers there i heard customer saying lets go there selection isnt as big as toyrus that was funny for someone who shops there
Posted by omega666 on August 13th, 2009 @ 10:16am CDT
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