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The demise of Toys “R” Us has an unexpected upside – other retailers are starting to get more creative and enthusiastic about the business of play. Following rumors of adding an expanded selection of toy offerings in their Party City stores, Party City Holdco Inc. has announced the company’s strategic decision to expand its temporary store offerings through the piloting of approximately 50 new ‘Toy City’ pop-up stores. Party City will launch the new, temporary Toy City locations alongside its Halloween City pop-up stores in select markets across the U.S.

In a statement received here at Rock Father HQ this morning, James M. Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Party City is the unmatched leader when it comes to relevant product offerings for everyday occasions and seasonal celebrations, and we’re always looking for opportunities to enhance these assortments for our customers. The creation of a Toy City concept to complement our temporary seasonal retail strategy is a logical extension of our brand; one that will allow us to leverage our existing pop-up store capabilities and capitalize on the category whitespace that has recently been created.”

By co-locating the Toy City pop-ups alongside Halloween City locations, the Company will leverage the strength of these stores to create a concurrent seasonal and toy destination, with an integrated and seamless shopping and checkout experience. The Toy City pop-ups will open in early September 2018 in conjunction with the Company’s Halloween City openings and operate through the holiday season, servicing customers’ end-to-end needs.

In addition to the launch of the Toy City locations, other retailers such as Target, Kohls and Walmart are dedicating additional space to toys this holiday season, and the toy industry is still eagerly anticipating the ramp-up of the reanimated KB Toys brand.

My personal hope is that Party City really takes a good look at pricing and assortment with their Toy City launch, as Go! Calendars’ seasonal pop-ups have been traditionally vastly overpriced and stocked with dated product, and Spirit Halloween’s ToyZam! concept didn’t last long. Additionally, the gimmick pricing of Kohls has also been off-putting, so as more stores get into the game, they really need to be putting the customer first.

Stay tuned for more…

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