November 5, 2003, 12:00 AM

Buy.com launches toy store with KBtoys.com

Realizing that its customer base was shifting toward more females and mainstream buyers, Buy.com has decided to target the toy market. It launched today an online partnership with KBtoys.com, marking its fourth new product category this year.

Realizing that its customer base was shifting toward more females and mainstream buyers, Buy.com has decided to target the toy market, Doug Marrs, vice president of sales and merchandise for entertainment and leisure categories, tells InternetRetailer.com. Buy today launched an online partnership with KB Online Holdings LLC’s KBtoys.com, through which Buy will offer the same general range of products and pricing that consumers find on KBtoys.com. “With our shift in demographics toward more female shoppers, we identified toys as key to our expansion,” Marrs says.

Buy is showing a 10% increase in overall traffic and sales coinciding with a recent test period for its new online toy store, though it’s too soon to say how much of that increase is due to toys, Marrs says. “We attributed at least some of that increase to the toy beta test,” he says.

KBtoys.com will gain new customer traffic through the partnership by reaching customers who wouldn’t normally be searching for toys, says Michael J. Wagner, senior vice president and COO of KB Online Holdings. “The Buy.com customer is a little different from ours, more heavily into electronics and other products,” he says. “So we’ll gain customers we’ve never seen before.”

Wagner says that results from the beta test were positive, though he declines to be more specific. “Initial results have been very strong,” he says.

The partnership provides Buy with inventory of more than 3,000 toy products and video games, Marrs says. While shoppers on Buy.com will use its shopping cart to purchase toys, Buy will forward the order to KB for fulfillment. “It’s Buy’s customer and Buy’s relationship,” Wagner says. The two companies decline to discuss how they’ll share revenue from toy sales.

Toys make up the fourth new category Buy has introduced this year, following handbags and luggage in February, consumer electronics in April and sporting goods in May. And there are more to come, Marrs says. “In the first quarter, we’ll see more categories launched,” he says.

 

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