Holiday Toy Wars Begin

Target, Walmart announce price-cutting strategies to lure holiday shoppers
Posted October 9, 2009

Target Corp. (Minneapolis) announced this week that it’s slashing as much as 50 percent off the price of popular toys, including Barbie and GI Joe, for the holidays. The announcement follows rival Walmart’s decision to expand last year’s popular $10 holiday toys promotion.

Target says it will offer Barbie dolls for $5 and GI Joe action figures for $15, while the Fisher-Price Little People Play 'N Go Farm Set 50th Anniversary edition will sell for $11.

For its part, Walmart (Bentonville, Ark.) says its expanding its $10 Holiday toys program to include 100 toys, such as Barbie dolls, Transformers and some board games, which will all sell for $10 each through the Christmas shopping season. Last year, the program included only 10 toys.

The company decided to expand the program "at a time when our customers were ready to make purchases," Laura Phillips, Walmart's vp, toys, said in a statement. The company says its research shows that 70 percent of its customers plan to start shopping for holiday items before Halloween.

According to market research company NDP Group Inc., toy sales last year were down 5 percent in the forth quarter, and 3 percent overall.