January 5, 2005, 12:00 AM

Online toy sales make strong holiday debut at Macy’s

Once a strong play in Macy’s stores, toys have shrunk to a minor role in a few locations. But a holiday season debut of toys on Macys.com performed like a strong new niche, Macys.com president Kent Anderson tells Internet Retailer.

 

Once a strong play in Macy’s stores, toys have shrunk to a minor role in a few locations. But a holiday season debut of toys on Macys.com performed like a strong new niche, Macys.com president Kent Anderson tells Internet Retailer. “Online toy sales far exceeded our expectations,” he says. “We had a good year overall, but toys was a big surprise.”

Macy’s launched online toy sales just before Thanksgiving, introducing more than 300 products through an outsourcing arrangement with eToys Direct Inc., an outgrowth of KBToys and the original eToys.com.

Macy’s chose to offer a limited number of high-end, nostalgic toys to differentiate its offerings from those of mass merchants, Anderson says. Popular items were electric trains, racecar sets and a $150 Victorian wooden doll house. “We didn’t want to slug it out on price with mass merchants,” he says.

EToys sources toy inventory based on Macys.com’s specifications and provides product images. EToys owns the inventory and provides fulfillment; Macy’s uses its own content management tools to manage merchandising and pricing, and handles its own customer service, Anderson says.

He adds that Macys.com plans to offer toys year-round.

 

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