August 30, 2001, 12:00 AM

Amazon and Toys R Us extend their reach

The joint Amazon/Toys R Us web site is adding Imaginarium.com, a site that sells educational toys.

Amazon and Toysrus.com continue their online domination, adding the Imaginarium.com specialty toy store to their artillery.

Amazon and Toys R Us Inc. are finding success online, combining the online marketing and e-commerce muscle of Amazon with the brand name and merchandising power of Toys R Us. After putting Toysrus.com online under the Amazon.com flag last year as part of a 10-year alliance, the duo launched Babiesrus.com. Now they are putting Toys R Us-owned Imaginarium specialty toy stores online. “There’s no question that Amazon.com’s traffic and trust factor and Toys R Us’s well-known brand and ability to promote across channels will be a real advantage for Imaginarium,” says Duif Calvin, vice president in the global retail practice at iXL Enterprises.

Imaginarium.com features specialty learning toys as well as shopping tools to help parents and gift givers find the right educational toy. The store will offer products from high quality brands such as Learning Curve, BRIO and LeapFrog. Imaginarium.com will handle merchandising, planning, buying and inventory management, while Amazon will manage the online site and shopping experience, including web site development, order fulfillment, warehouse storage and customer service.

A key part of the Imaginarium site is the Learning Values System that originated in Imaginarium stores, which allows gift givers to search for toys based on specific skills that will be engaged when the child plays, including mathematical, musical, linguistic, visual, motor, cooperative play and independent play.

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