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First Look: Check out Target’s new toy experience

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Target Corp. is looking to fill the void left by the exit of Toys “R” Us with an expanded assortment, more dedicated in-store space and more advertising this holiday season.

By Nov. 2, Target will have added 250,000 sq. ft. of additional space for toys, reallocating space across nearly 500 locations. With the extra room, the retailer plans to showcase larger items such as electric ride-on vehicles, playhouses, outdoor playsets and more. New displays will take items out of their packaging and put them into a 360-degree shopping experience. The signage will make it easy for shoppers to purchase items directly in-store or have them shipped to their home via (The extra space will be permanent, according to CNBC.)

In time for the holidays, Target said it will have completed more than 100 store remodels featuring a refreshed, kid-focused toy department. The changes include an entirely new layout, signs and oversized displays, including giant three-foot LEGO slide that sits above the aisles and interactive activity walls. Kids’ books have been relocated next to the toy department.

The retailer also had expanded its assortment. It will offer more than 2,500 new and exclusive toys, nearly twice as many as it had last year.

Additionally, Target will host nearly 25,000 hours of family-friendly in-store events, and is introducing a hub for toys on its web site featuring a “gift finder.” The retailer is also putting an increased focus on toys within its marketing, adding nearly 25% more pages of toys to its weekly ads.

Target’s kids’ holiday catalog—arriving in homes next week and available in stores on Oct. 28—will include 15% more pages for toys than last year and feature a new digital integration with the Target mobile app. Using the bar-code scanner on the app, shopper can hover over any page to pull up a complete list of the products featured on that page. From there, they can learn more and add them to their shopping cart.

“For many guests, finding the perfect toy to wrap up and give their little loved ones this holiday is going to be their top priority. We want them to know that Target is here to help,” said Mark Tritton, executive VP president and chief merchandising officer, Target. “Our team has spent months preparing for this season, selecting the assortment, deepening our inventory to offer more of the hottest items and reimagining the experience we have for toys in our stores and online.”

Target is not the only retailer beefing up its toy assortment in time for the holidays. Walmart is expanding its holiday assortment by some 30%, and Party City is opening 50 Toy City stores. And tween and teen retailer Five Below has rolled out an expanded toy section in its stores.

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