Those of us who have been living in this world for a while can recall when department stores were toy central. If you have watched “A Christmas Story” (and who hasn’t?), you will understand what department stores meant in the 1930s – 1960s. Every town had its department store, and every department store had its own Santa. And everyone knew that their department store Santa was the real Santa Claus.
Starting in the 1970s, department stores began to phase out or cut out their toy departments. In doing so, they changed from family to destinations for adult women. Call me crazy, but those decisions helped move the department store out of the public eye while Walmart moved in.
Could we be at the point of a resurgence in department stores as purveyors of toys? Macy’s is certainly on board. They think they can generate $1 billion in toy sales through their Toys R Us store within a store concept. Here is how Company Chariman and CEO,Jeff Gennette put it:“
We recently announced that by October 15th, we will expand our exclusive Toys R US partnership to include every Macy’s location, just in time for the holiday and gifting season… Toys is a huge opportunity for us with a fair share of market opportunity of $1 billion in annual sales.“Macy’s (M) Q2 2022 Earnings Call Transcript,” Motley fool
If I were a rival department store’s CEO, I would certainly take notice. I reached out to two of them, seeking to discover their plans for toys. Both responded that they did not wish to divulge their plans for toys. Their response makes me wonder if they had some big plans they did not want to disclose.
I am betting that we will see department stores get back in the game. Let’s hope so—the toy industry could use some more customers.